In this exclusive “Masters of Media” series, Integral Ad Science (IAS) speaks to the Movers and Shakers of the APAC advertising industry, on all matters digital.
Kerrie Leary is Director of Digital Operations (TAAG)/GDPR at Publicis Media.
With a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and over 22 years of in-depth experience in all aspects of media as well as planning, buying, data/data privacy, and research, Kerrie has had the opportunity to hone her broad skills working across clients throughout Automotive, FMCG, Finance and Entertainment categories.
Her experience spans large global media giants, including WPP, Omnicom Media Group, and Publicis Media. She is currently working for Publicis Groupe in a centralised Operations role focussed on Digital Standards, Data Privacy, and being part of the Groupe Product and Innovation team.
IAS: Please tell us about your digital advertising journey and your current role at Publicis
Kerrie: I began my digital career at CHE Melbourne, which merged to become OMD Melbourne. I stuck up my hand to offer to work on digital, even though I had no idea what I was doing and had to learn everything from scratch! Digital media appealed to me as it meant I could do more of my favourite activity – analysing data.
From Omnicom, I started my Publicis Groupe journey at Starcom. Then after returning from maternity leave, I moved into a centralised Operations, Data Privacy and Product Innovation role at the Groupe, focussed on three areas which I am very passionate about:
- We are implementing consistent Digital Standards to drive digital quality across all Publicis agencies/clients.
- Data Privacy is particularly critical; between GDPR compliance, the ACCC Inquiries, and upcoming changes to AU Data Privacy laws, this work also encompasses helping our agencies and clients navigate an increasingly cookieless world.
- We are creating solutions that clients love! What are the big questions our clients need our help solving? How do we make our clients famous?
IAS: What are some of the key 2022 trends that have piqued your interest?
Kerrie: No surprises here; however, the pending updated Data Privacy legislation in Australia is critical to how the industry will operate very shortly. Anyone who may have been living under a rock and not aware of this would advise you to get up to speed ASAP!
I am also particularly interested to see how the industry evolves measurement post-cookie deprecation. Agencies and clients will need to set in place and rely on a test-and-learn mindset now and moving forward, with strategic testing frameworks in place across planning, buying, and measurement to understand the best tactics to drive client ROI.
IAS: What are some of the initiatives Publicis has undertaken to stay connected with its workforce and propagate for the wellness of its employees in ANZ?
Kerrie: Publicis leadership has a strong people-first leadership focus which shapes every decision made. Publicis Groupe was named an Employer of a Choice winner by the Australian Business Awards and the HRD Awards in 2021, which is a huge achievement we are all very proud of.
Publicis has launched many initiatives focussed on employee wellness over the past three years in ANZ. Most notably:
- Publicis ‘Liberte’ – a flexible working framework designed to provide Publicis staff to fit work in with their lives and not the other way around
- Mental Health support – 107 Publicis staff have been trained as Mental Health First Aiders, providing fellow Publicis employees with skills and confidence to have supported conversations with co-workers. Also, new Time in Lieu guidelines have been introduced, while Personal and Carer’s Leave has been changed to ‘Wellbeing Leave’ to reflect the need to support people’s physical and mental health.
- Paid Leave Entitlements – now includes Gender Affirmation Leave, Domestic and Family Violence Leave, Fertility Treatment Leave, Miscarriage Leave, and an increase in Compassionate Leave.
- ‘Work your World’ – provides Publicis staff the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world for up to 6 weeks each year, giving staff the chance to reconnect with family overseas, reuniting Publicis employees with their loved ones.
IAS: According to you, what will enable CTV to become more mainstream for advertisers? What role will its measurement capabilities play to propel CTV advertising
Kerrie: CTV is an exciting opportunity for advertisers; however, it is very fragmented, with multiple devices to consider, and has an absence of common identifiers between platforms. It is challenging for agencies and advertisers to navigate. Combine this with various measurement tools and offerings from streaming platforms and third-party solutions.
All measurement challenges need to be rectified for CTV to become truly mainstream. A problem of this magnitude requires an industry-wide solution; leaders from across our industry have come together to propose new ads.cert protocol suite that’s generic enough to address numerous ad tech use cases but explicitly designed with CTV in mind. Adopting these standards is a meaningful step towards increasing confidence with TV buyers.
IAS: In your opinion, is the industry doing enough to combat the trust and transparency challenges in the digital supply chain?
Kerrie: The intent is certainly there for the majority of the industry. Publicis is wholly committed to doing everything we can to collaborate with the industry to find a solution to drive change to increase supply chain transparency.
As part of an industry working group lead by the IAB/AANA/MFA, we are currently reviewing various approaches from markets worldwide to see what could be potentially feasible here in Australia to increase supply chain transparency. We have taken several learnings from the UK-based ISBA PWC Programmatic supply chain transparency study (a world-first end-to-end view of the supply chain). The ISBA PWC study highlighted the unknown delta being 15% of advertiser spend is not accounted for, and Publishers only received 50% of advertiser spend. This study made huge headlines (for a good reason); however, importantly, it also showed the need for urgent standardisation across a range of contractual and technology areas to facilitate data-sharing and drive transparency and industry collaboration to investigate the unknown delta further. These will need to be considered and solved in AU before deploying a chosen solution.
IAS: With brands moving away from keywords and cookies to contextual targeting, how is Publicis approaching this shift?
Kerrie: Contextual targeting is enjoying a resurgence, and I am here for it! Pre-bid contextual, using predictive science pre-screening pages and categorising pages using emotion and sentiment analysis to bid on inventory across display, video & mobile – sign me up! Except for the 3P contextual technology solutions that agencies/clients can utilise are more advanced than what I had back in the day.
IAS: Metaverse has become an area of interest for brands; how are agencies exploring this space?
Kerrie: It’s about understanding the shift from Web 2.0 to the Metaverse (or Web 3.0). Where Web 2.0 was defined by the leveraging of communities via Social Networks, Mobile and Cloud solutions to reach audiences (/groups of people) –with a focus on the delivery of “targeted” cost per click interactive advertising, collaboration, and app-based experiences, Web 3.0 sees a shift into a world of decentralised, private, secure individualised solutions.
As a result, Web 3.0 allows for user-centric, behavioural advertising strategies, reliant on intelligent machine learning and AI to deliver immersive user engagement.
IAS: What’s your favourite book/podcast/movie, and why?
Kerrie: I would love to find time to read more books, but I find that I can multi-task while listening to true crime podcasts and doing a million other things (hello, busy working mum). My fav genres of podcasts include comedy and true crime (True Crime Obsessed/The Lady Vanishes/Emsolation).
The last movie I watched was Disney’s Encanto, and it was great and has a killer soundtrack (“We don’t talk about Bruno” and “Surface Pressure,” do yourself a favour!)
IAS: What is your advice to the fresh talent in the industry?
Kerrie: My advice is to be open as much as possible, jump in and take every opportunity to learn from your colleagues, mentors, and partners. Doing so will open up many options, and you just never know where this industry could take you!
Other stories might be interested in:
– Masters of Media – Laura Boatman, Zenith Media Australia
– Masters of Media – Vivek Misra, Senior Director, Data Partnerships at The Trade Desk