In the recent Ad Pays 7 report from the industry’s think tank Credos on UK advertising’s digital revolution, a series of leading figures from across UK advertising were asked the question: As the digitalisation of advertising continues to develop what is the most important challenge and the most important opportunity for your business?
In the second of of a series of extracts from the leaders’ answers to the question we are featuring the response of Ronan Harris, Vice President & MD of UK & Ireland, Google.
Ronan Harris – Google
“Google turned 20 in 2018. When our founders created Search in 1998, they did so with a guiding principle in mind that continues to be our driving force today – focus on the user and all else will follow.
We are proud to have played such a fundamental role in advancing the digitalisation of advertising, particularly so in the UK, our second biggest market globally. The laser-sharp focus on the user – whether individual or advertiser – has meant that UK consumers now derive a £37 million surplus from using Google services and we can support £55 billion of economic activity here.
Over the years, we, as many others, have learned that opportunities for digital advertising lie in using technology to remove friction for advertisers, especially SMEs, to improve the usefulness and relevance for users. Getting this right is as true today as it was when digitalisation was first set in motion over two decades ago. And with AI now coming into its own, the next 20 years will unquestionably be as revolutionary as the preceding 20.
However, the pace of technology has brought about challenges that we are, unfortunately, all too familiar with such as ad fraud, brand safety, and bad ads leading to a poor user experience.
The relentless move towards digitalising all media will undoubtedly bring more challenges. Google, together with industry partners, have worked tirelessly in addressing many of these challenges but the common thread binding them all is trust in advertising, or rather, a decline in trust over recent years.
The digitalisation of advertising should rightly be celebrated. Through Credos, the Advertising Association has done pioneering work in understanding consumer sentiments towards advertising. It’s time for us to act on these findings. The Advertising Association is well placed to lead these discussions and we look forward to continuing playing an active role in them.”