Whilst on the subject of Programmatic, it is the latest thing to hit the Outdoor medium. Just when you thought you were safe from acronyms, the Outdoor industry has introduced DSPs, SSP’s and pDOOH (programmatic digital out of home – in case you didn’t know). pDOOH uses audience data from device ID information (computers, mobiles, etc) to identify behaviours and then analyses the movement patterns of those device ID’s and identifies the individual screens that fall within the movement patterns. Therefore the data is still based on a trend and likelihood of a consumer being in front of a sign, not a particular person.
How it works is the Outdoor companies allow Ad Tech companies (eg. Vistar, Hivestack, etc) to sell specific digital sites on their behalf. Clearly they are sites that the outdoor company has not been able to sell in the “traditional” way. At present a number of Outdoor companies are trialling pDOOH although oOh! are not part of the trial. The media agencies buy pDOOH from the Ad Tech businesses, not the Outdoor companies. The biggest difference is the Ad Tech companies sell it on a ‘cost per thousand’ impressions reached as opposed to by week or by month. To determine how many people have been reached at an exact time is certainly questionable in this whole process. Outdoor is a ‘one to many’ medium which does make it somewhat difficult to charge based on specific target CPMs.
pDOOH’s advantage is sold as better targeting, greater flexibility (can easily move or pause a campaign) and ability to buy across all Outdoor companies. On the down side, pDOOH has limits on available inventory and is less likely to factor in the quality of each site. The vast majority of clients buy Outdoor for a mass reach and strong branding so seeing the environment before buying is extremely important.
In 2019 pDOOH accounted for around 2-3% of all Outdoor spend in the U.S. (after 8+ years in market). In Australia it is presently accounting for possibly 0.2-0.4% of spend.


In the 1800s John Wanamaker (a successful US merchant) is alleged to have proclaimed, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is, I don’t know which half”. We know advertising works however determining exactly which placement or why certain advertising worked remains the holy grail. The growth in data and attribution modelling certainly helps but it is still not an exact science and sometimes all the data makes it more confusing.
The first step to establishing effectiveness is to know who has seen the advertisement. For Offline media, we use research such as Morgan (print), OzTam (television), GFK (radio) and MOVE (outdoor) to determine who has the potential to see an advertisement. The systems cannot be exact although the good news is Australia is ahead of most of the world in terms of the quality of research and survey sample sizes vs population.
Once we know who is seeing the ads, we then need to ensure the advertising appeared as booked. For most media there are third party companies that can verify the booked media did in fact appear. On very rare occasions an ad may appear in print that is not legible, or a TV ad is cut short or an Outdoor ad is not posted properly. These cases are very rare and generally have an extremely low effect on any impact. In addition, advertisers naturally get compensation if that happens.
For Digital advertisements, determining how many people have the potential to see advertising is more of an exact science than offline media. Meaning digital is measured on a one to one basis as ads are served to specific digital screens. It is also possible to use an independent third party for impression measurement by using an adserver such as Flashtalking for delivering the advertising to the digital screens. Naturally, the big caveat with digital is “potential to see” as the medium is more susceptible to fraud than offline media. A bot used to be something you sat on but now is enemy no.1 for digital advertisers. Bots generate fake browser data and create fabricated URLs which effectively means no humans are seeing those impressions. Programmatic buys are particularly vulnerable to bots. A recent report from PwC and the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) said 88% of advertising impressions could not be fully traced through a spaghetti map of programmatic suppliers and operatives.
Perhaps the question should not be who is seeing the advertising but how effective is the advertising? That is where digital has a perceived advantage as it is accountable through clicks. That also explains why Programmatic advertising can be somewhat vague as it tends to deliver the lowest cost per clicks even if half the money is wasted. Of course, the most important question is what drove someone to click so you can attribute which half of your advertising worked!


The privacy concerns around how personal data is being used in the Digital world has ramped up enormously since the Cambridge Analytica data breach in early 2018. The cookies attached to ads to track where people have come from when they arrive at a website will soon be a thing of the past. Users on the Safari browser (the default Apple browser) and Firefox can already no longer be targeted based on their previous site visits (which impacts mostly retargeting and prospecting tactics for display and video activity). Chrome browser representing 50%+ of all internet traffic, will follow and progressively block cookies on its users between now and 2022. Effectively it will be a cookie-less world in digital with no information stored from people web browsing behaviour (interests etc.).
This will mean knowing who has come to a website or retargeting and attribution reporting is going to get a whole lot tougher. Retargeting people who have been to a website has often been the best performing digital tactic for acquisition. It will soon become difficult to build a remarketing audience based on people who have visited your website without completing any trackable action. Facebook retargeting will remain available. In terms of attribution, there will be an increase in unattributed conversions as landings to a website cannot be tied back to users. This will lead to the undervaluing of display and video activity in attribution modelling. Reach and frequency modelling or frequency caps will also be greatly affected.
Before most of the cookie data is cut off it is very important to prepare for the cookie-less world and enact the following.

  1. Data collection: identify the data that really matters to the business and work towards solutions to capture it more efficiently (site login, lead form, transaction information, etc)
  2. Data strategy: facilitate easy access and circulation of data between different teams and departments by integrating different tools and bridging the gap in the current setup
  3. Data activation: build the marketing strategy and customer approach around insights the data provides and ensure it is reflected in the campaign execution.
  4. Measurement: identify how the current measurement will be impacted and define the most appropriate solution to overcome this challenge (eg. Customer life time value, A/B tests, offline & online integration)


The latest SMI figures show April’20 is down around 35% compared to April’19. While March was down 10.6% there was talk that April could decline by 40-50% so perhaps April is not that bad. It is likely April will be the month most impacted by Covid so May and June may be down 20-30%. From Q3 (Jul-Sep), there is a general feeling that things are getting better and it will be a big improvement on Q2 (Apr-Jun).
Cinema was most affected due to not being open. Outdoor suffered greatly
(-60.6%) as April was the height of lockdown and people were not moving around as much. Magazines (-51.8%) were next although ad spend is likely to get worse for that sector as it suspended many titles in May. Surprisingly, Radio was next worse at -43.7%. Radio tends to carry a lot of direct and smaller businesses who have suffered most during the lockdown. Digital, Television and Newspapers were down 25-35%.
Auto (-46%) and Travel (-77%) once again showed the biggest declines. Whilst Domestic Banks (+16%) and Government (+20%) certainly helped the market.


  1. Disney Plus has over 2 million viewers after only 4 months
  2. The Unicorn is the national animal of Scotland
  3. Google receives over 83,000 searches per second on any given day
  4. In Norway, every resident has their income, tax paid & total wealth on public record – no secrets there!
  5. North Korea and Cuba are the only places you can’t buy Coca-Cola
  6. The dot above an “i or j” is called a tittle