Meet The Team - Integral Ad Science's plans to restore trust in media

Jason Pollock
By Jason Pollock | 12 April 2024
Jessica Miles and Manasa Denning.

The latest Edelman Trust Barometer, which analyses trust in media by the public, shows Australia sits within the bottom 15 of the 28 countries analysed - something that global media measurement and optimisation platform Integral Ad Science (IAS) wants to change.

"If you look at it year on year, we've actually gone up two points, which is great, so we are rebuilding our trust slowly, but we're still 10 points below the average - we’re sitting around 40 points and the average is 50 points" said Jessica Miles, IAS' country manager for ANZ

"One of the key reasons for that is instances of brand safety issues around fake news and misinformation."

Miles said one of IAS' key goals for 2024 is about reducing those instances of fake news, ad fraud and misinformation to help rebuild trust in media, working with advertisers to incentivise them to invest in quality journalism and quality environments.

Another part of the 'three P's' that IAS prioritises - comprising of people, planet and profitability - sees the company's role in reducing wastage take centre stage.

"A lot of the time we focus on marketing wastage, but by reducing marketing wastage, we are also reducing our impact on the environment and the reason why is when we support quality environments and impressions, you're investing in impressions that are driving an outcome and those wasted impressions unfortunately also have a carbon footprint," Miles told AdNews.

"If you think about specifics in the ecosystem, you can think about reducing instances of ad fraud as a form of wastage, but also moving away from made-for-advertising sites and we've seen time and time again, those sites tend to have a higher carbon footprint, primarily because of high sources of traffic, high refresh rates, ad clutter or high instances of ads on the page.

"Therefore, this type of reporting across carbon emissions and made-for-advertising enables our advertisers to balance driving outcomes, but also the impact that they're having on the environment."

Manasa Denning, IAS' VP of technical operations, says that when it comes to brand and agencies utilising data, they want to put that data next to their ad server data or spend data to start thinking about how that relates to outcomes and ROIs.

"If you think about ad operations teams, their core focus is just getting campaigns live and they're working across hundreds of different campaigns a day," she said.

"If you take a step back and think about the process that they work through, they have to go to their ad server, they'll have to set up the campaign in the ad server, then they have to download a set of tags, then they'll have to log into a different platform to wrap those tags, download those tags and then distribute those to the publishers - but then imagine a setting changes within the campaign and then they need to re-traffic the tags?"

"One of the things that I think I'm really proud of that IAS has really invested in is automations and making it really easy to have those campaigns live, so that they can measure that hygiene efficiently."

Looking ahead to what the rest of the year holds, Miles said that as well as a focus on efficiency and automation, actionable and granular data is also a key area for the adtech, with attention taking centre stage.

"If you think back to viewability, it’s a very binary metric - in-view and out of view - but attention is a data point that can be tied back to value," she told AdNews.

"It takes into account multiple data points - we're looking at on the screen data points from visibility data like viewability and timing view to situational data like relevancy and ad clutter to engagement data. We've now evolved to be able to now look at human metrics, like eye tracking, so bringing all that together to then provide a more robust metric is something that we're focusing on."

Miles said that the emphasis on granularity and actionable data also comprises the ability to interpret the written word, assessing sentiment and emotion for advertisers to utilise.

"A word in a particular situation can have very different meanings, based on how the consumer is interpreting that article, and what we found is being able to interpret that enables our advertiser partners to invest in the right type of content," Miles said.

"We leveraged our natural language processing where we do the analysis, and we can determine neutral, positive and negative sentiment; we can also tie in emotions to that as well.

"If you take topical segments too, we can provide information on negative and positive sentiment and we can even go as granular as the brand - for example, 'I only want to appear on articles that my brand has spoken about in a positive sentiment'."


Chanel Barta

Chanel Barta - Director, Customer Success ANZ

What attracted you to IAS? 

Initially, it was the fast-paced fun and challenge of entering a global ad tech company at the start-up phase, where I had the freedom and flexibility to help shape the narrative and trajectory of our Australian business. As this great global tech business has grown from strength to strength, what continues to drive me is the opportunity to be part of the positive and tangible change towards transparency in digital media buying and advertising. In all of my roles at IAS, I’ve had the privilege of helping equip our customers with the tools and knowledge to optimise towards quality and drive efficiency without compromising on campaign KPIs.  It’s been a thrilling 8+ year journey, and I feel very fortunate to have witnessed firsthand the remarkable evolution of our local digital media industry, where quality is now the baseline towards achieving campaign success.

How are you making a difference to the Australian advertisers in your role? 

The biggest opportunity I have to make a difference at IAS to Australian advertisers is through delivering the most comprehensive and actionable data to drive superior results.  From protecting brand equity to improving brand ROI, by providing the most sophisticated and scalable verification solutions across all digital media environments where our clients are planning and buying. Ultimately, the data and solutions we provide to our Aussie advertisers must be underpinned by world-class customer service - something that sets us apart from the rest and will never be compromised. We will always go beyond the baseline expectations to ensure we continue to maintain and grow our longstanding valued partnerships in the market.

What are you focused on for 2024?

In a complex and changing media landscape where privacy, deprecation of third-party cookies and attribution challenges are at the forefront of marketers' minds, I am focused on continuing to drive more value and ROI back into the hands of our valued customers in a safe, transparent, and compliant way. Nailing the basics of best-in-class service, more quality media, more value for money, and more dollars back to our customers will be a core theme and focus for 2024.


Christopher Mottershead

Christopher Mottershead - Director Sales APAC, Publica by IAS

What are you focused on for 2024? 

Christopher Mottershead: 2024 is all about doubling down on the strategies which we know are receiving the most positive response from the market and helping our clients maximise their revenue. Beyond the hype surrounding CTV, there are a lot of headwinds in the industry which are making it difficult for streaming platforms and content owners to maximise the true value of their inventory and we want to ensure we continue to support our clients, partners, and associations who operate across the sell side of the CTV ecosystem. We also want to continue our leading position towards delivering a more sustainable industry by helping to implement protocols which help to reduce ad serving emissions.  

What does a typical day look like for you? 

Christopher Mottershead:  I'd describe the daily theme as keeping up! Our industry is in constant flux, stemming from news and updates that can sometimes feel inundating. To manage this, I dedicate at least 30 minutes daily to staying informed and up-to-date with industry news. Each day brings unique challenges, yet our goal remains constant in ensuring client satisfaction and continuously optimising our performance in every way possible.

What attracted you to Publica by IAS? 

Having previously held a position focused on monetisation and partnerships, I gained firsthand experience working with Publica as a key revenue partner. This background made me immediately recognise the potential for growth in the region; it was a unique opportunity and  I couldn't pass up. With nearly 15 years of experience in the digital sector, I've come to understand that CTV represents a significant growth avenue for our industry, and working at Publica positions me at the cutting edge of this field. Addressing the challenges faced by our clients is a key focus, and my experience working on the client side has equipped me with a deep understanding of their needs. We have proven success on how our  platform can genuinely enhance revenue performance for our clients while improving the TV advertisement break experience for viewers at home.


 John Nguyen

John Nguyen - Account Executive ANZ

What are the biggest opportunities in your role? 

With advertising dollars shifting towards emerging mediums such as Retail Media Networks, Gaming and Audio, marketers naturally want to ensure that every dollar spent on their media is as effective as possible, and it's through these emerging mediums that we see the greatest opportunity. At IAS we strive to offer the most accurate and effective verification solutions across all media channels, and we’re already getting great traction locally on our integrations with our partners.

What are you focused on for 2024?

John: In 2024, I’m focused on career development and growth. With more demand for the products and services we offer than ever before and with greater responsibility and expectations of me going into this year, I want to be able to persevere and continue to excel in my role. Thinking beyond my role, I’ve also been focusing on driving more strategic value in the market by supporting our clients to navigate through the drastic shifts in our industry, where we’re seeing budgets move from traditional digital media channels to emerging channels such as Retail Media Networks. By collaborating more with IAS’s local Technical Account Management team, we’ve been increasing our measurement capabilities across these emerging channels to ensure that our clients can get full transparency across their media buying across all channels. Working closely with our regional Marketing team has also helped accelerate our messaging in the market at industry events, where we’ve continuously solidified our position as the global market leader in media quality.

What does a typical day look like for you?

John Nguyen: Before starting my day, my (free on the IAS tab) coffee is a must before I even walk into the office. While each day can be unique in its own way, my day always revolves around spending time with clients and showcasing the value of IAS by relating their business goals with our product suite. I’m a big fan of meeting face-to-face when I can rather than chatting over emails. I find it more meaningful to build relationships and rapport with our valued clients, so a lot of my day is also spent in Uber, commuting to and fro, while also clearing out my emails on the go. I try to log out of work after hours, so I’m always looking to be productive and optimise my work hours (while ofcourse, optimising our client’s media!).


Katherine McVeity

Katherine McVeity - Senior Manager Customer Success 

What does a typical day look like for you?

Every day for me starts the same - with a long black in hand, while on a long walk! Being an ex-elite athlete, morning exercise is a must because it clears my mind for the day ahead. What I love most about IAS is that every day is unique and brings new challenges. We are constantly innovating as a business and also investing in the best technology. My favourite part of the day is leading a team of highly intelligent, competitive and driven Agency Customer Success Managers, who provide our clients with world-class customer service (Not that I am competitive about it!). I spend the majority of my time listening to our customer's challenges, ideas they are pursuing and their vision; which then translates into intense brainstorming sessions with my team about how we can continue to be better and drive more value for our customers when investing in verification.

Why is customer-centricity the key driver and differentiator for any company's growth? 

People buy from people who understand their business challenges, provide exceptional customer service, and deliver results for them. We have one the largest verification teams in Australia, with around 85% of our entire staff dedicated to servicing our customers, from account management to solutions engineering; all of them are based locally in Sydney. Most of our clients have anywhere between five to six team members who contribute to the success of their business on a day-to-day basis. Being the competitive person I am, I like to let the results speak for themselves. We send our customers a net promoter survey (NPS). In the last round of feedback, we received zero detractor scores!! Our NPS score has increased by over 20% since I joined in 2020, which is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the team. We listen to our customers' feedback and put actions in place to address it. Two years ago, we launched “High Touch” Technical account support at the request of our clients, and we have seen positive feedback continue to skyrocket. 

What are the biggest opportunities in your role? 

The Australian market is very advanced when it comes to verification, so the biggest opportunity and challenge that we have this year is helping our partners on a journey of shifting their mindset on how they can leverage IAS beyond verification. This means that we can start having more exciting conversations with our clients on products such as Supply Path Optimization and Quality Attention measurement; these will be our biggest opportunities this year and help us to ensure we are driving value for our clients beyond measurement. 

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