8 Predictions for 2018 from Around the Media Industry

January 11, 2018

Executives from IAB Canada, MPA, ACA, News Media Alliance, Connectiv, Mobile Marketing Association and more share their thoughts on the coming year.

Kammi Altig, Communications Manager


With a fresh year ahead of us, we asked several industry organizations to predict 2018’s buzzword, give advice on where the industry should focus its energy and share one wish to change media for the better. Our interviewees included:

Similar to our year-in-review interviews, we saw a strong common theme for the industry to address digital ad fraud and become more transparent by focusing on compliance with industry standards. Here’s what they had to say: 


AAM: What should the media industry focus on in 2018?

Linda Thomas Brooks with The Association of Magazine Media: Brand safety and trusted content.  As the economics of advertising have changed, the ad industry has become responsible for funding the explosion of fake news and low-quality—even dangerous—content. As a larger marketing industry, we can—and must—fix this.  We have to help marketers and agencies recognize the consequences of how the advertising they plan impacts the business of creativity and most importantly, our world.

Ron Lund with the Association of Canadian Advertisers: We believe the media industry should build on the progress made in 2017 toward helping marketers grow their businesses by bringing more transparency and accountability to advertising.

Pedro Silva with IFABC: Finding ways to reverse the ad fraud trend.

Sonia Carreno with Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada: Understanding the difference between current mechanisms that require endless band-aid solutions and the ground shifting new world that is being built which inherently addresses many of today’s issues. We must have feet in both camps to ensure we are maximizing the benefits of the current marketplace while innovating with the new era evolving.

Michael Marchesano with Connectiv/AM&P: Implementing the right tech stack, adding skillsets that change the way they do business and fostering a culture that enables them to do both.   

Derek Lackey with Newport Thomson and Direct Marketing Association of Canada: Eliminating digital fraud, and data and privacy compliance. AAM is the perfect organization to impact these issues and make a significant difference.

Leo Scullin with Mobile Marketing Association: Transparency in the supply chain.

John Murray with News Media Alliance: Individually and together, we can position ourselves around the themes of “quality and trust” and “credibility and transparency.” These factors, along with accurately and efficiently delivering the local targeted markets, contribute to the unique ability to deliver a competitive ROI across a variety of quality audiences and platforms.


What will be 2018’s buzz word?

Ron Lund: We hope it will be “brand safety.” While it was encouraging to see brands taking action and pulling spend from digital platforms that were not transparent, we would like to see more tangible steps from industry partners.

Sonia Carreno: Compliance. Policy issues will be front and center this year. From international privacy to marketing to kids and cannabis, advertisers and publishers will need to understand developments in policy and how they are directly affected.

Artificial Intelligence will continue to be a buzzword in 2018 as systems improve and rely more heavily on advancements in this space. 

Blockchain will continue to dominate conversations around theoretical solutions to some of today’s issues. Ads.txt is a starter in the development of technical solutions that are based on blockchain structure.

Derek Lackey: Data compliance.

Pedro Silva: Responsible advertising.

Michael Marchesano: Smart content. Content that’s personalized and delivered via personalized channels. We will start to see companies offering services that run the gamut from Farm Journal sending commodity updates to farmers in the fields to ALM’s recently launched Legal Compass, an online tool that gives lawyers a comprehensive intelligence tool at their fingertips, including benchmarking data, personnel moves, events and news.

Linda Thomas Brooks: Magazine Media. Better. Believe It.


If you could wave a magic wand and receive one wish for the media industry, what would it be?

Sonia Carreno: I would wish this industry would reset toward celebrating creativity using the medium as opposed to spiraling and attempting to profit from negativity.

Derek Lackey: Shine the light so brightly, the charlatans have no choice but to exit the business.

Michael Marchesano: Start operating more like a digital startup and don’t be afraid to fail, as long as you can fail quickly and move on.

Pedro Silva: Global standards.

Leo Scullin: Get your act together and clean up the supply chain, and be more transparent in the process.

Ron Lund: That we get into detailed discussions about the impact of advertising. Just because consumers spend a lot of time with a device or on a platform doesn’t automatically translate into advertising effectiveness. Let’s work together to align expectations of marketers and our partners and measure the collective impact of our efforts.

John Murray: The one wish is for the news media industry to continue the progress of telling our story and unique advantages. This is possible by building consensus and consistently delivering these messages to the advertising community and have it result in documented proof that quality matters in the eyes of customers. Therein can be found the ROI that distinguishes our members.

Linda Thomas Brooks: We must amplify the strengths of magazine media and be our own cheerleaders. Magazine media provides compelling benefits that aren’t matched by other media channels. Consumers believe in magazine media brands and they transfer that belief to the advertising. We don’t devote enough time to talking about the things magazine brands do well, like engaging consumers with trusted, inspiring and motivating content, and that advertising in print magazines provides the highest return on advertising spend. 

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