The Internet Advertising Bureau UK is seeking a new chief executive to tackle growing fears about the effectiveness of online advertising after Guy Phillipson announced his intention to step down in January 2017.
During Phillipson’s 12-year tenure the industry has experienced rapid growth – in 2005 it was worth £825m; by 2015 this had hit £8.6bn – however the new CEO’s in-box will be groaning under the weight of threats to the industry.
With pressure mounting on the sector to tackle viewability, ad fraud, ad blocking and the rise of programmatic buying, maintaining the industry’s growth will be no mean feat.
There is also the small matter of the review of the EU e-Privacy Directive – which also includes the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) – and covers all online and mobile marketing, SMS, email and telemarketing activity.
Even so, the IAB has been keen to big up Phillipson’s legacy, insisting he transformed the industry body “to become a valuable resource, encouraging best practice and setting standards for audience measurement, brand safety, and the global Ad Choices programme”.
Phillipson, who was previously head of advertising at Vodafone, plans to remain in the industry and is currently seeking non-exec and advisory roles. He said: “For me, leading the IAB has been the most rewarding and exhilarating job in the world, navigating the growth of video, social, mobile and programmatic advertising – none of which really existed when I took over. But the best part has been recruiting and nurturing a team of top professionals, and working with incredibly bright and supportive member companies right across the global digital industry.”
IAB UK chairman Richard Eyre added: “Guy has transformed the IAB, creating a model trade organisation of 1,200 businesses which has played a consistent role in building confidence in online marketing. He has achieved this with tenacity, humanity and a lot of laughs. His place in the history of online advertising is assured. We’ll all miss him, but he’s played a blinder.”
The IAB UK will be considering internal and external applications for the position of CEO, with a view to appointing Phillipson’s successor before the year-end.
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