EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Laura Desmond, former CEO of Starcom Mediavest and now chief revenue officer at parent company Publicis Groupe, believes it’s time for the industry to “have an honest conversation about data”, and address the issue of mobile ad blocking head on.
Desmond told Mobile World Live it is up to companies like Starcom to “be the voice of the consumer” and understand the type of advertising people will pay attention to, as she urged the entire ecosystem to improve the overall content experience.
“We’ve had forms of ad blocking and ad avoidance for decades, but with technology, we have a form of ad blocking that is so powerful and so important that we really can’t ignore it or assume it is going away,” she said.
“To make sure content providers and brands are getting their content in front of people, you’ve got to make the content experience better and you have to have better speeds so downloads and pop-ups don’t take so much time.”
Desmond believes consumers understand the “value exchange” between providing access to personal data in order to access free-to-consume content, and wants more “alignment around data” to clarify its use.
“Once this happens, we can begin to move on, and we can continue to build brands in a mobile environment or in tech enabled multi-screen world.”
In the interview, the former Starcom head also talked through some of the opportunities she sees for mobile advertising to grow, as well as her predictions for Virtual Reality, “the dominant emerging media platform of the next ten years”.
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