First-of-a-kind research on online ad market to be welcomed with open arms
THE globally renowned Interactive Advertising Bureau has set up an Irish office and pledged to publish first-of-a-kind research on Ireland's online advertising market by "early summer".
The data will mark the first meaningful research on the online advertising market in more than a year and will be greeted with open arms by Ireland's digital and media industries alike.
"There's a great need for the research, so it's the first thing we've committed to," confirms IAB Ireland boss Suzanne McElligot, tapping into the massive industry frustration about the data vacuum that's developed over the last year.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers has already been retained to collate research on Ireland's digital advertising market and Ms McElligot hopes to bring the first data to market by "early summer".
IAB already compiles online ad spend figures for scores of countries worldwide and the figures are widely respected.
Ms McElligot stresses, however, that spending data is "just one part" of the IAB's overall mandate. Drawing funding from nine "visionary" local partners include eircom, Daft Media and Google, IBA Ireland's role is to "promote the use of digital advertising in Ireland".
"Our job is to make it as easy as possible for to spend money online, we can do that through case studies, education, events, a whole range of things," says Ms McElligot.
"We want to bring spend to where it should be in the market."
The internet became the UK's biggest advertising medium in the first half of last year, knocking TV off the top spot by commandeering 23.5pc of total advertising revenue. Ms McElligot says the internet could account for nine or 10pc of Irish spends.
"The thing is we just don't know [where the Irish market is], that's why we need PwC," she adds.
Industry insiders describe the lack of data on online spends as a "huge issue" that has thwarted growth in Ireland's online advertising market and deprived the sector of the recognition it deserves.
There have been no online advertising spend figures published since international data monitors Nielsen took over the contract to measure Ireland's advertising market last year.