Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Unmade: media and marketing analysis
'It's not doing what I aspired': How programmatic pioneer Brian O'Kelley is trying to fix his mess

'It's not doing what I aspired': How programmatic pioneer Brian O'Kelley is trying to fix his mess

Welcome to an audio-led edition of Unmade.

Today’s edition of The Unmakers features Brian O’Kelley, founder of Scope3, which attempts to measure the carbon footprint of advertising. Back in the day he helped create the programatic advertising industry, although he’s not entirely proud of the that legacy.

Further down, it was a poor day on the Unmade Index for the three TV players.

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‘Godfather of ad tech’ Brian O’Kelley’s new mission to tackle the ad industry’s environmental footprint

Today’s edition of The Unmakers features that man who some (including himself) credit as one of the inventors of programatic advertising.

Brian O’Kelley was cofounder of AppNexus, which has since been folded into Microsoft’s Xandr programatic platform. That’s led to him being labelled “the godfather of ad tech”.

His new project is Scope3, which measures the impact of advertising and media on the environment.

In the interview with Unmade’s Tim Burrowes and Seja Al Zaidi, O’Kelley discusses the high impact that digital advertising has on emissions output, thanks to the energy needs of server farms, along with the wastage created by unviewed ads.

“This illusion that the cloud is this fluffy place in the air is actually not accurate. The cloud is a bunch of big warehouses full of servers that use a huge amount of energy and cooling power,” he says.

And he rails against adland’s assumption that advertising campaigns inevitably include wastage where the target consumers are not being reached.

“I actually think that the ‘50% of advertising is wasted’ statement is one of the most damaging statements in the history of advertising,” he says. “It's become is an excuse not to worry about waste.

“We have so much more control over our advertising and where it goes, especially in digital, but increasingly in print and other channels, we are able to be more thoughtful about how we target our ads.”

Scope3 plans to expand across APAC under the leadership of local managing director June Cheung.

In the conversation, O’Kelley acknowledges that some of the promise of programtic has been unfulfilled: “Where we are today in the development of programmatic, it’s not doing what I aspired for it to do. It’s caused privacy issues, it’s caused national security issues. It’s caused commoditisation of quality content. There’s a lot of things that aren’t great.”

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Seven leads the broadcasters down

Seven West Media had the worst of a down day for TV stocks yesterday, with a fall in share price of 1.59%.

Rival TV, radio and publishing player Nine lost 0.49% while, Southern Cross Austereo, which owns regional TV stations and radio networks lost 0.68%. Audio company ARN Media beat the market, with a rise of 4.4%.

Ooh Media saw a 1.40% drop. The Market Herald fell 1.89%, and Enero Group dropped 1.52%. Domain lost 0.50%.

The Unmade Index fell 0.47% to 629.6 points. The Index measures the daily performance of Australian media and marketing stocks. By contrast the wider ASX All Ordinaries was almost flat yesterday, with a fall of just 0.12%.

Time to leave you to your Thursday. We’ll be back with an end of week update tomorrow.

Audio production was courtesy of Abe’s Audio, the people to talk to about voiceovers, sound design and podcast production.

Message us: letters@unmade.media

Have a great day.


Tim Burrowes

Publisher - Unmade


Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Media and marketing news with all the in-depth analysis, insight and context you need.
Unmade offers industry news from an Australian perspective, from the founder of Mumbrella and the author of the best-selling book Media Unmade, Tim Burrowes