Predictions 2016: Sacha Wilson

December 7, 2015

Adtech will continue to alter significantly the shape of the advertising industry and in particular the means by which advertising space or ‘inventory’ is bought and sold.

‘Programmatic’ advertising (that is, the automated, data-driven buying and selling of online advertising inventory) will expand significantly in scale and broaden from online display advertising to a wider range of media such as TV and potentially OOH (‘out of home’ – eg billboards etc). As a result, advertising lawyers will not be able to avoid becoming familiar with the multitude of digital platforms which operate in this space (eg demand side platforms, ad exchanges and supply side platforms). However the growth of ad-blocking software is likely also to increase, exerting continued pressure on standard display advertising. This will lead advertisers to find ever more engaging and innovative digital advertising models such as ‘native’ advertising and ‘vlogger’ endorsement deals. That, in turn will lead to a continued rise in regulatory scrutiny (eg from the ASA and the CMA) to ensure consumers are not misled and the distinction between editorial and advertising is preserved to the maximum extent possible.

{b}Sacha Wilson is an Associate at Bristows LLP{/b}