Ad industry backs AI as ‘next industrial revolution’


The vast majority (80%) of key digital marketing decision makers consider AI is the next industrial revolution, feeling it improved productivity and increased competitive advantage, according to new research.


In association with IAB Europe, Xaxis conducted a pan-European survey to understand the current and future impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on digital advertising.

The results of this survey have been published in the ‘Artificial Intelligence: myth vs. reality in the digital advertising world’ report today.

The survey1 sought the views of 1,000+ decision makers across the industry including advertisers, agencies, publishers, and intermediaries.

The report identified that decision makers from all parts of the industry recognise the significant value AI can bring to achieve results across the digital advertising ecosystem.

Many respondents agreed with the statement that ‘AI will be the next industrial revolution’, with the potential to deliver instrumental change in the digital advertising industry.

However, there is work to do in terms of reliability and trust; respondents highlighted the key concerns facing AI in digital advertising as relying less on human control, and the ability to gain trustworthy insights. It’s about maintaining a positive and productive balance between AI, a human workforce, and end customers, the study found.

The key findings of the survey are:

• AI was seen to facilitate effective targeting and was able to enhance digital advertising objectives – right person, right place, right time. Indeed, better targeting was cited by 61% of agencies; 43% of publishers and 53% of intermediaries. Further, identifying better qualified users/audience was cited by 30% of advertisers; 55% of agencies; 40% of publishers and 42% of intermediary stakeholders.

• Respondents highlighted the key concerns for the future of AI as relying less on human control (47%) and gaining trustworthy insights (55%).

Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe said: “A thriving digital ecosystem depends on advertising powered by innovation, creativity and efficiency. We are pleased to have worked with Xaxis on this research which highlights that the application of Artificial Intelligence in digital advertising can deliver better targeting, optimisation and business growth.”

John Wittesaele, President EMEA, Xaxis said: “The most powerful, and largely unfulfilled, potential of AI lies in the bigger picture, in its ability to optimise towards business outcomes rather than simple metrics."


Xaxis, in association with IAB Europe, conducted a survey to uncover the opinions and attitudes towards Artificial Intelligence (referred to as AI in this report) in the digital ad tech industry.

The objective was to learn how recent innovations in AI technology can impact business operations, with the goal to dispel the myths of AI and provide a realistic view of how it is being used to achieve results. It aimed to illustrate how the advertising ecosystem and all of its stakeholders including publishers, brand advertisers and media agencies are currently using AI.

The survey asked about:
• Defining artificial intelligence
• How is it enabling business outcomes to be met
• Challenges faced when using artificial intelligence

View the report here

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