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The Drum Show: Blockchain, walled gardens and ethical adtech


By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

September 27, 2019 | 5 min read

The Drum has unveiled this week's episode of its online video series The Drum Show, which looks at the big talking points in media and marketing from the past seven days.

The Drum Show talks ethical adtech and blockchain

The Drum Show talks ethical adtech and blockchain

This week’s instalment of The Drum Show was filmed live at ad:tech London, the UK’s global gathering of marketing and advertising technology players.

Hosted by The Drum’s associate editor Sonoo Singh, the show featured Alexis Faulkner, head of Fast UK at Mindshare, Liz Duff, head of media and investment at Total Media and Jim Brennan, chief revenue officer and managing director at adtech company, Proquo AI.

The conversation this week was sparked by news from Advertising Week New York, where Omnicom’s proposed a plan to improve how walled gardens like Facebook can share data with marketers.

Host Singh asked the question of whether are agencies over-indexing on walled gardens and if brands are being fooled into thinking that the only way to engage at scale is by operating within the walled garden.

Blockchain, and whether it is the solution for a fairer adtech ecosystem, was also among the solutions proposed.

Brennan told Singh that in truth he didn't really understand what blockchain is, which he said is the same for many brands and brand owners.

"Until they can show how it benefits the customer, then it's impossible to say whether it's the answer or not," he contended. "Brand should only really care about the customer, not the technology. If the technology serves the customer, then great. It's an added way to make the experience better."

Duff said that although the industry has been talking about it for three years now, "no one has quite got to the bottom of what it's going to do, particularly in digital advertising."

"A lot of people are saying its the answer, but until it can show examples of what it can do for the brand in terms of digital transparency or digital measurement then we are still going to struggle with what it will do," Duff added.

On Facebook's walled garden, Faulkner questioned what's in it for the social media giant to concede to industry pressure: "Why is it in their interest?" she asked. "The challenge we have around them is not a lack of technology, but the lack of commercial need to release that."

Also up for discussion was WeWork's tumultuous week that saw its chief exec and founder Adam Neumann pushed out by doubting investors, in the wake of the dramatic collapse of its initial public offering.

Elsewhere, Toby Horry, brand and content director for Tui revealed his bullshit buzzword and Bodyform picked up the Creative Work of the Week crown with its poignant #Blood Normal campaign.

The Drum Show will be hosted on LinkedIn and Twitter each Friday afternoon, bringing together voices from across the industry to talk about the top stories of the week.

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