Clare O’Brien, the IAB’s senior programmes manager and resident content specialist took to the stage to open its second Content & Native conference on June 11 ,asking if the adage ‘content is digital, digital is content’ is actually true. We were about to find out.

She announced that following on from the IAB’s Content & Native Disclosure guidelines launched in February to help the whole industry be compliant in native advertising, Phase 2 would be coming out in Q3 of 2015.

Thinking differently

Paul Feldwick, former planning director of BMP/DDB and author of ‘The Anatomy of Humbug: How to think differently about advertising’ took to the stage and started with a story about David Ogilvy, discussing how he strayed away from the original purpose of advertising (to sell direct response, only to mention the product) to make potentially the world’s first native advertisement. The ad for Guinness showed different images of oysters and talked about these oysters multiple times but made no reference to the product it was selling.

Feldwick noted that if content is defined as something people choose to consume, advertising should also be defined in the same way. However he also noted that content always has to be good – you can’t get away with shoddy content, whereas advertising is a bit more lenient. ‘Content isn’t the answer to all of advertising’s problems.’


Next up was Adyoulike’s MD Francis Turner who asserted that immerse media- a fusion of creativity and date- will be the future of advertising, with six out of ten people visiting content that appeals to them, whether paid or unpaid.  

A panel session followed soon after with Simon Gill, chief creative officer, DigitasLBi; Glen Calvert, CEO, Affectv; James Hayr, head of content solutions, AOL and hosted by Dominic Mills – former editorial director, Campaign.  

The panel discussed the best ways of getting creative with content, including personalisation, and pointed out some great examples of creative viral content- such as last year’s Volvo Trucks campaign and Fosters’ Pit Girls. The key take away was that you now need to make content mobile first, but be wary that it’s not mobile only.

Turn off to turn on

Midway through the conference Ukonwa Ojo, head of global brand equity at Durex & KY fired up the audience announcing ‘I love sex’ as she took to the stage. She talked us through Durex’s ‘Turn Off to Turn On’ campaign, aimed at getting people to turn off their phones and enjoy sex more.

In fact, mobile was a prevailing theme on the day’s agenda, which included speakers Trinity Mirror Solutions, Google, Havas, Celtra, Pulsepoint among many more.

The day was finished full circle when Clare O’Brien took to the stage once again to sum up. Her key learning’s of the day were: Content is going programmatic, creative is back in the game, and therefore programmatic creative is the talk of the day.

For the full list of session summaries, read the original version of this article, by IAB UK’s online content executive Sarah Chetta.