22 September 2023 - Brussels, Belgium – This week, at DMEXCO, Cologne, IAB Europe, the European level association for the digital marketing and advertising ecosystem, hosted a meeting for its Board of Directors to designate a new Chair, Vice Chair, and other Officers.  

Thomas Duhr, Member of the Board of the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW), was elected Chair, with Bethan Crockett, Legal Counsel at GroupM, taking Vice Chair.  Jon Mew, CEO of IAB UK, was appointed Treasurer. Thomas Mendrina, Senior Director Partner Sales CEEMEA at Microsoft, Pierre Devoize, Deputy CEO of IAB France, Reyes Justribo, CEO of IAB Spain, and Marianne Bugge-Zederkof, Deputy CEO of Danske Medier, complete the new Executive Committee.

Reflecting on the timing of his appointment, Thomas Duhr noted that the new Board’s mandate coincides with the final months of the current European Commission and first year of the incoming one.  “The digital advertising and marketing industry in Europe is entering a vital period. The importance of our industry for the European markets and society is steadily increasing. With this growth comes an ever-increasing responsibility”, said Duhr. “The role of IAB Europe, European national associations and corporate members is to build bridges between policy makers, civil society, science and our industry. It is about nothing less than securing and strengthening Europe‘s competitiveness in times of disruptive technological change. This is the only way to shape a successful future for generations to come.”

Townsend Feehan, IAB Europe CEO, welcomed the new Executive Committee as a diverse group whose breadth of experience would provide strong leadership for the organisation. “It is hard to imagine a more interesting time for a trade association than the present, as governments in Europe and beyond seek new ways to engage with industry to understand the world around them and the implications for their citizens, and make policy choices; IAB Europe is lucky to have a Board and Executive Committee that combine the vision, energy, and sense of responsibility that this one does to lead that engagement.”    

Visit IAB Europe’s website for more information on the full board of Directors.

Brussels, Belgium - 7 September 2023:

IAB Europe confirms today that, following IAB Europe’s appeal against the Belgian’s Data Protection Authority (APD) decision to validate its action plan, the Belgian Market Court has rendered an interim ruling and suspended its assessment of the validation decision pending responses from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

The APD had unexpectedly decided to validate IAB Europe’s action plan in January 2023 in line with their February 2022 decision, despite the Market Court’s interim judgement of September 2022 which referred questions to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling and held that the APD was in breach of its duty of care.

To prevent the APD from pre-empting the referral to the CJEU and ensure that future iterations of the TCF are sustainable and aligned with EU-level interpretations of the GDPR, IAB Europe had filed a second appeal, this time against the APD’s decision to validate IAB Europe’s action plan.

The Market Court’s judgement shows that this validation (and enforcement) decision of the APD was taken too soon, as the Market Court explicitly indicated that the answers that will be provided by the CJEU will have a bearing on the legality of the APD decision to validate the action plan. 

This judgement will therefore allow a serene completion of the remaining legal proceedings, and removes the risk of introducing changes to the TCF that may ultimately be found inappropriate by the CJEU and rolled back.

"This decision is a reassuring confirmation that while TCF evolutions can go ahead, like the recent TCF v2.2 changes," said Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe, "now is not the time to force any modifications that might be significantly affected by the Court of Justice proceedings". In particular, measures in the action plan that directly stemmed from the APD's finding that the TC String constitutes personal data and that IAB Europe should be viewed as a (joint) controller from a data protection perspective are thus set aside for now. "Ultimately, it is up to the Court of Justice to provide guidance on these issues, and the Market Court decision serves as a reminder of this point", added Ms Feehan.

An updated FAQ regarding the APD decision can be found on IAB Europe’s website, here.


Press contact: 

Helen Mussard, CMO, IAB Europe - mussard@iabeurope.eu –  +44 (0) 7399 919594

About IAB Europe:

IAB Europe is the European-level association for the digital marketing and advertising ecosystem. Its mission is to promote the development of this innovative sector and ensure its sustainability by shaping the regulatory environment, demonstrating the value digital advertising brings to Europe’s economy, to consumers and to the market, and developing and facilitating the uptake of harmonised business partners that take account of changing user expectations and enable digital brand advertising to scale in Europe. 




Majority of Retail Media Buyers and Sellers Want Standards in Media and Attribution Measurement

6th September, 2023 - Brussels, Belgium, IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem, today released the first pan-European definitions for Retail Media in a new comprehensive 101 Guide to Retail Media. This groundbreaking initiative created by IAB Europe’s Retail Media Working Group provides a comprehensive overview of what Retail Media is, including a breakdown of on-site, off-site and in-store definitions, and essential guidance to the buying and selling of Retail Media in Europe. The Guide serves as a valuable resource for all industry stakeholders, offering an introduction to Retail Media and its growing significance in the European Market. 

Defining Retail Media for Europe

Retail Media has emerged as a powerful digital advertising tool in recent years, but as with any emerging technology or solution it is vital to first understand and define what we mean by Retail Media and to dispel any misconceptions or confusion surrounding the different aspects of it. To overcome this challenge IAB Europe’s Retail Media Working Group has created the first pan-European definitions of Retail Media in a digital advertising sphere. Working collaboratively with National IABs across Europe and drilling down into digital on-site, digital off-site and digital in-store, these definitions help provide a clear understanding of the Retail Media, and educate industry stakeholders on how to leverage it effectively. 

Guide to Retail Media in Europe

To help support the definitions of Retail Media, the working group has also created a 101 Guide, designed to empower buyers and sellers to make informed decisions and achieve their advertising objectives through Retail Media. This introductory guide covers all the must-know aspects of Retail Media, including insights into how campaigns can be purchased, reasons why retail media is essential for brands, and an overview of available measurement and targeting options. 

Commenting on the publication of the 101 Guide, Jason Wescott, Global Practice Lead, Commerce at GroupM Nexus said The success of early adopters in digital retail media has driven more retailers to throw their hats in the ring.  More digital retail media owners means buying becomes more complex, confusing, and highly specialised, as each retailer has their own definitions, campaign metrics and attribution windows. For advertisers, this makes it hard to compare across digital retail media platforms vis-à-vis planning budgets, strategies, and campaign activations. The IAB Europe Retail Media 101 Guide will empower the industry with key knowledge on what digital Retail Media is, how it can be bought and why it should matter to brands. Equip yourself with exactly what good looks like, so you can approach the exciting world of digital retail media, with confidence.”

Creating Standards for a Thriving Retail Media Market 

A recent IAB Europe survey of over 100 Retail Media buyers and sellers found that over two thirds of buyers (70%) think the lack of standards for Retail Media is a barrier to investment. When asked about which standards are most important, the majority of buyers (90%) and sellers (84%) cited media and attribution measurement. 

Commenting on the work IAB Europe is doing to advance education and standardisation in Retail Media, Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe said: "IAB Europe forecasts that ad spend on Retail Media will reach EUR 25 billion by 2026, exceeding traditional linear TV advertising. In order to fully realise this opportunity, we need to bridge the "knowledge gap" surrounding Retail Media.  Our newly released pan-European definitions and the comprehensive 101 Guide will help industry stakeholders start to navigate this dynamic landscape. The clear call for standards that came through in our recent survey is driving our next move, with a dedicated new Retailer Council leading the work.”

The full guide is now available for download on the IAB Europe website here.


27th July 2023, Brussels, Belgium, IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem, today released its ‘Guide to Improving Sustainable Business Decision-Making’. This initial guide has been created to assist businesses in the digital advertising ecosystem navigate the ever-evolving landscape of sustainability and responsible business practices. 

Terms such as ‘sustainable’, ‘green’, ‘net-zero’, and ‘carbon-neutral’ to describe technology, services, and products in the digital advertising industry have increased in traction recently, making it increasingly important for businesses to understand the validity of such labels. 

With the rise of greenwashing practices, where false or misleading claims are made regarding environmental efforts, it is crucial for businesses to exercise due diligence when evaluating sustainability claims and when looking to choose the partners they wish to work with. Government regulators are also intensifying their focus on combating such practices, and businesses need to ensure that their decisions align with genuine sustainability goals.

The ‘Guide to Improving Sustainable Business Decision-Making’ was written by members of IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee including, Alliance Digitale, BVDW, EssenceMediacom, IMPACT+, Microsoft Advertising, ProsiebenSat.1, and Scope3. It offers valuable insights and practical tips to help organisations make informed choices when looking to achieve sustainability in the digital advertising industry. The guide will be further supported by the development of more in-depth business reports and playbooks and sustainability scorecards that will enable market participants to consider ESG factors as well as economic benefits. 

Key areas covered in the guide include tips and guidance on environmental considerations, European legislation and guidelines, anti-greenwashing principles, social considerations, and the economic benefits of sustainable decision-making. 

"By launching the Guide to Improving Sustainable Business Decision-Making, we aim to support businesses in the digital advertising industry in taking crucial first steps to navigate the complex realm of sustainability," said Townsend Feehan, CEO at IAB Europe. "We believe that informed decision-making can help lead to a brighter and more sustainable future for our industry. As we look and move ahead, we eagerly anticipate enriching this initial initiative with further in-depth guidance, to empower businesses to approach sustainable strategies with greater confidence."

The full guide is now available for download on the IAB Europe website here.

Notes to Editors:

About IAB Europe

IAB Europe is the European-level association for the digital marketing and advertising ecosystem. Its mission is to promote the interests of the industry and enable cross-ecosystem collaboration amongst its national federation and corporate members to drive solutions to shared challenges and develop frameworks, standards, and programmes that contribute to sustainable growth and innovation.

About IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee

IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee was formed in October 2022 with the primary focus of bringing the industry together to create standards for the delivery of digital advertising and to help all industry participants to reduce the amount of energy consumed and carbon emissions produced through the use of digital media.


Two-thirds of European marketers rank audio’s ability to enhance wider media plans as the top driver for investment according to joint research from GroupM and IAB Europe

Media buyers plan to invest more in audio in the next 12 months

25 July 2023, LONDON, UK — GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, today announced the findings of its Europe Digital Audio Advertising Report 2023 produced by GroupM Nexus, GroupM’s industry-leading performance marketing organisation, in partnership with IAB Europe. The report explores:

The report found two-thirds (66%) of buyers plan to invest more in audio in the next 12 months. The report is based on a survey, conducted by GroupM Nexus, that leveraged the national IAB network in Europe to survey 549 advertisers, agencies, and publishers across 29 markets between May and June 2023. 

Almost half (47%) of the advertisers and agencies surveyed state that audio advertising is either their top or among their top media choices. Buyers’ three main drivers for audio ad spend include the channel’s ability to enhance wider media plans (65%), raise brand awareness (55%), and reach specific audiences (48%). Investment is also diversifying across a rich variety of audio channels and ad formats, with the majority of buyers surveyed directing their spend toward streaming (59%), podcast (59%), or online radio (57%). 


Marketers are optimistic about digital audio

According to the survey, two-thirds (66%) of buyers plan to invest more in digital audio advertising specifically in the next 12 months with almost one-quarter (24%) expecting to increase spend between 11% and 30%. These forecasts indicate high levels of confidence in digital audio as a channel that can make an impact with target audiences.

Daniel Knapp, Chief Economist at IAB Europe commented: “From 2018 to 2022, digital audio has outpaced all other advertising channels in Europe in terms of compound annual growth rate**. The pandemic served as a cyclical catalyst for digital audio, particularly podcasts, due to a rise in consumption. However, structural enhancements like improved measurement, simplified buying and automation continue to advance the market. The advertising industry's emphasis on attention in a screen saturated media environment, quality of reach and brand safety positions digital audio as a promising investment channel for advertisers and a potent platform for publishers to exploit context. We project the European digital audio market, which stood at €772 million in ad spend in 2022, to surpass the €1 billion mark by 2025.” *

Marketers surveyed ranked incremental reach (46%), innovative activation such as dynamic creative ads optimisation (DCO) (43%), and targeting efficiencies (42%) as the top three drivers for digital audio spend. These will play a significant role in attracting further investment over the next 18-24 months, with 76% of advertisers and agencies intending to increase their audio ad spend in this time period. Advertisers and agencies ranked smart speaker interactive ads to be the biggest opportunity for increasing digital audio budgets in the future, followed by dynamic audio ads. Cross-channel insights and activation technology, alongside advanced contextual targeting, also rank as significant opportunities to unlock digital audio growth. Capabilities that allow buyers to capture audience attention, drive consumer action, and execute informed cross-channel campaigns are critical for securing greater ad spend.


Audio ads reach audiences on the go through personal devices 

Seven in 10 marketers surveyed expect to connect with their audiences via audio ads on mobile, followed by desktops and laptops (48%) and tablets (44%).

The prevalence of mobile as a key audio device implies that digital audio offers marketers a valuable opportunity to engage audiences throughout the day. Survey respondents also believe they connect with audiences via Connected TV, game consoles, and stand alone radio devices, demonstrating the pervasiveness of audio. 

Harry Harcus, GroupM Nexus EMEA commented: “Audio is a channel buzzing with opportunity as buyers and publishers expect notable growth in the near future. As a medium that reaches highly engaged audiences at moments when its more visual counterparts cannot, audio is capable of complementing buyers’ wider plans and publishers’ media offerings. Advancing the technologies that enable audio advertising can unlock cross-channel optimisation and performance for buyers, in turn making audio inventory even more attractive and driving revenue for publishers.”

For further insights into current audio investment, as well as key drivers and challenges for advertisers, agencies, and publishers, the full 2023 report is available here




About GroupM and GroupM Nexus

GroupM is WPP’s media investment group and the world’s leading media investment company with a mission to shape the next era of media where advertising works better for people. The company is responsible for more than $60 billion in annual media investment, as measured by the independent research bureau COMvergence. Through its global agencies Mindshare, Wavemaker, EssenceMediacom, and mSix&Partners, and cross-channel performance (GroupM Nexus), data (Choreograph), entertainment (GroupM Motion Entertainment) and investment solutions, GroupM leverages a unique combination of global scale, expertise, and innovation to generate sustained value for clients wherever they do business. Discover more at www.groupm.com.

​​GroupM Nexus is the industry’s largest community of performance marketing experts designed to drive performance and innovation at scale for GroupM’s agencies and clients. With the most platform accreditations in the industry combined with proprietary technology, media and solutions, a culture of continuous innovation and scaled partnerships, GroupM Nexus consistently sets new benchmarks for effectiveness and efficiency across all forms of media to drive growth for the world’s leading advertisers. 


IAB Europe is the European-level association for the digital marketing and advertising ecosystem. Its mission is to promote the interests of the industry and enable cross-ecosystem collaboration among its national federation and corporate members to drive solutions to shared challenges and develop frameworks, standards, and programmes that contribute to sustainable growth and innovation.


* IAB Europe’s AdEx Benchmark study currently measures ad spend for display, audio, social, video. Retail Media is not currently a part of the study.

Report details all factors contributing to 9.8% annual growth

Digital Audio fuels strongest format growth increasing by 22.1% 

Brussels, Belgium, 13th July 2023 - IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem, today released its full 2022 AdEx Benchmark Report following the release of the study highlights in May. Now in its seventeenth year, the report is the definitive guide to advertising expenditure in Europe covering 29 markets. It details the formats and channels that contributed to digital advertising’s annual growth of 9.8 percent in 2022, culminating in a total market value of €86bn.

Commenting on the positive market growth in 2022, Townsend Feehan, CEO at IAB Europe said, “Despite facing unprecedented macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges, such as the war in Ukraine and rising inflation, the digital advertising market demonstrated exceptional resilience, with an increase of €7.7 billion from 2021.” 

Market Coverage Expansion

In 2022, the geographical coverage of the AdEx Benchmark study underwent key changes, with Belarus and Russia being excluded and Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania added as new markets. This expansion allows for a more comprehensive overview, encompassing a wider range of markets in the report. 

Video and Audio Record Strongest Growth 

The findings highlight audio as the fastest-growing format, experiencing a remarkable increase of 22.1% to reach €0.7 billion. Video also witnessed substantial growth, with a 13.6% increase, valuing the format's investment at €18.3 billion.

Programmatic Commands Over 57% of Display  

Programmatic, excluding social, continues to account for more than half of display ad spend, with video accounting for 52.8% of the share of programmatic spend. However, huge differences in the maturity of programmatic across markets mean there is significant headroom for growth. Key markets, including France, Germany Italy, and Sweden, remain low in programmatic share in comparison to the UK.  

Dr. Daniel Knapp, Chief Economist at IAB Europe, who compiled and presented the study commented, “Growth of digital advertising in Europe slowed to +9.8% in 2022. This can be attributed, in part, to a natural correction following a robust recovery in 2021 after the pandemic, which witnessed the most substantial market expansion in more than ten years (+33.8%). Additionally, the presence of macro-economic fragility and the ramifications of the war in Ukraine acted as further obstacles. Despite these challenges, the growth rate still surpasses expectations, particularly considering that digital advertising has now become a well-established media category, accounting for over 60% of total media ad expenditure, compared to less than 20% in 2009, the last year with similar growth patterns.”  

View and download the full report here


AdEx Benchmark is the definitive guide to advertising expenditure in Europe. 

The data has been compiled by IAB Europe based on information provided by the national IAB offices around Europe. The report includes market size and value information for 2022 for the following markets: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and Ukraine. The data represents the calendar year 2022 January- December. This is the seventeenth AdEx Benchmark study which began in the calendar year 2006. Display includes PC-based and mobile banners, rich media and video formats.

The report provides a comprehensive perspective of digital advertising spend across Europe which is essential in benchmarking market development trends, the increasingly pan-regional nature of digital advertising investments, and the role of Europe’s digital economy in a global context, attracting global start-up funding and European policy formulation.

For more information please contact:

Helen Mussard, CMO, IAB Europe – mussard@iabeurope.eu -  +44 (0) 7399 919594

Marie-Clare Puffett, Marketing & Insights Director, IAB Europe – puffett@iabeurope.eu - +44 (0) 7973836917

IAB Common Commitment agreement signed by National IABs and Federations shows alignment on a work plan and framework that supports sustainable developments in Europe 

Brussels, Belgium, 8th June 2023 -IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for the digital marketing and advertising ecosystem, today announced the release of a new European IAB Common Commitment Agreement on Sustainability signed by 21 National IABs and Federations across Europe. The Commitment demonstrates the need and wants from National Federations for a collaborative and consistent approach to the measurement methodology of carbon emissions. This includes the regulatory and policy taxonomy, and the mapping and standardisation of best practices for the delivery of ads across the digital supply chain.

Uniting on Sustainable Digital Advertising: Reducing Carbon Emissions and Taking Climate Action

The digital advertising industry has identified that the carbon emissions associated with the internet, devices, and supporting systems have reached nearly 4% of global greenhouse emissions. With these emissions projected to double in the near future, it is crucial for the industry to acknowledge the climate crisis and take decisive action now. This will help to ensure a sustainable advertising choice for brands while most importantly, helping to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the digital advertising ecosystem.

In response to this urgent need, IAB Europe, along with National IABs and Federation signatories, is committed to providing guidance and support to organisations on their sustainability journeys. By working collectively, they aim to establish consistent European standards, practices, and solutions that address the critical issues of sustainability.

The Common Commitment reflects a shared vision and dedication to a comprehensive work plan. This plan will be delivered by IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee and will involve developing strategies, guidelines, and taxonomies that align with regulations and policies while considering the broader aspects of sustainability, including environmental, social, and economic impacts. It will also help elevate work being done at a National level to bring it up to a European level in a consistent manner and will prioritise the reduction of carbon emissions specifically associated with digital advertising and emphasise the importance of climate action. 

By uniting its efforts, the digital advertising industry can take significant steps towards a more sustainable future, mitigating the environmental impact and contributing to the United Nations' 17 sustainable development goals. 

Commenting on the release of the Commitment, IAB Europe’s CEO, Townsend Feehan said, “The aspiration to reduce CO₂ emissions in the digital advertising supply chain will test our capacity to act in unison more than any other policy or business goal.  The Common Commitment we are announcing today is a modest but critical step, enabling our European network to collaborate at an unprecedented pace internally and bringing critical mass to our engagement with global partners."

The Participating National Federations can be viewed here:

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors:

About IAB Europe

IAB Europe is the European-level association for the digital marketing and advertising ecosystem. Its mission is to promote the interests of the industry, and enable cross-ecosystem collaboration amongst its national federation and corporate members to drive solutions to shared challenges and develop frameworks, standards, and programmes that contribute to sustainable growth and innovation.

About IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee

IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee was formed in October 2022 with the primary focus of bringing the industry together to create standards for the delivery of digital advertising and to help all industry participants to reduce the amount of energy consumed and carbon emissions produced through the use of digital media.

Brussels, Belgium, 1st June - IAB Europe, representing a diverse membership of thousands of digital marketing and advertising companies, media publishers, and independent third-party measurement firms, has released a policy paper outlining its position on the draft proposal for a European Media Freedom Act. The paper aims to provide valuable insights to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and national officials working on their negotiating positions.

The proposed European Media Freedom Act seeks to establish a common framework for media services in the internal market, addressing various aspects of the digital media landscape. IAB Europe acknowledges the significance of audience measurement provisions, particularly Article 23, and emphasises its importance for independent and pluralistic media in European democracies. Digital advertising enables media publishers to monetise their content and maintain their independence while fostering a diverse media landscape. IAB Europe recognises the investments undertaken by publishers in audience measurement for transparent pricing of their advertising services. These systems are crucial to enhance their advertising strategies, serve new advertisers online, and evaluate advertising campaigns effectively.

In its policy paper, IAB Europe supports the principle-based approach to audience measurement outlined in Article 23(1) of the draft proposal. The implementation of these principles has the potential to enhance transparency in audience measurement systems, leading to a fairer allocation of advertising revenues across the media ecosystem. However, IAB Europe asks policymakers to consider three key aspects when regulating audience measurement. 

Firstly, respecting the importance of existing self-regulatory initiatives, such as Joint Industry Committees (JICs), which are well-established in many member states. These frameworks, based on self-regulation among media publishers, advertising agencies, and independent audience measurement providers, have significantly contributed to improving audience measurement systems. 

Secondly, IAB Europe emphasises the need for transparency in audience measurement methodologies (Article 23(2)) to ensure fair pricing of digital advertising, questioning the effectiveness of the current draft proposal in achieving this objective. The lack of a clear definition for "providers of proprietary audience measurement systems" creates ambiguity and may unintentionally impact third-party audience measurement providers, including traditional research companies and JICs. 

Thirdly and finally, IAB Europe urges policymakers to strike a balance between transparency and innovation. While advocating for increased transparency in audience methodology, IAB Europe highlights the importance of protecting proprietary methods and technology that result from substantial investments in research and development. Transparency should not impede investments in research and innovation, which are essential for the evolution of audience measurement systems.

IAB Europe stands ready to engage in constructive dialogue with MEPs and national officials to ensure that the European Media Freedom Act upholds the principle of transparency. The full policy positioning paper can be accessed here.


European Digital Advertising Market Grew by 9.8% to a Market Value of €86bn

Total Display Accounts for 50% of Total Market Value

Brussels, Belgium, 23rd May, 2023 – IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem, announced at its flagship conference Interact 2023 in Madrid today that digital advertising spend in Europe increased by 9.8% in 2022 to achieve a market value of €86bn. 

2022 Digital Advertising Investment

Now in its seventeenth year, The AdEx Benchmark study is the definitive guide to advertising expenditure in Europe with data collected across national markets to provide a total harmonised figure for Europe. For 2022, IAB Europe has amended the geographical coverage of AdEx Benchmark to remove Belarus and Russia and add in new markets; Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, meaning the study now accounts for 29 European markets. Amongst the markets, Turkey achieved the strongest total growth of 93.3%. 

Despite the economic and political headwinds in Europe, €7.7bn was added to the digital advertising market total in 2022. 

Daniel Knapp, Chief Economist at IAB Europe commented on the results: “Brands are digitising their overall businesses to drive efficiencies and in the same vein are shifting advertising budgets into digital. Thus, digital advertising in Europe has experienced robust growth despite the volatile macro environment. It reinforces the importance of digital for brands during a period of downturn due to its measurability and performance.”

Audio and Video Post Strongest Growth

The study shows that audio saw the largest growth across all formats in 2022 with a 22.1% increase to €0.7bn. Video also experienced significant growth with an increase of 13.6% to value the format investment at €18.3bn. Meanwhile display grew by 9.5% to €40.1bn with search experiencing a 10.7% increase to €37.4bn. 

The AdEx Benchmark Study highlights can be downloaded here.

The full AdEx Benchmark 2022 Report, which will provide full commentary and data across all 29 markets, will be published in June 2023.


Notes to editors:

AdEx Benchmark is the definitive guide to advertising expenditure in Europe. The study is now in its seventeenth year and covers 29 markets. The geographical coverage of the study has changed to remove Belarus and Russia and add in new markets; Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. 

The study covers the following advertising formats: display, social media, video, audio, programmatic, classified, directors & affiliates and search. 


Helen Mussard, CMO, IAB Europe - +44 (0) 7399 919594

Marie-Clare Puffett, Marketing & Insights Director, IAB Europe - +44 (0) 7973836917

27th April 2023. Brussels, Belgium: IAB Europe, the leading European-level association for the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem, signed today a letter to policymakers on the Data Act with fellow European-level Industry Trade Associations including the Advertising Information Group (AIG), the Federation of European Data and Marketing (FEDMA), The European Confederation of Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurs (EUCOPE) and SMEUnited and its National Digital Advertising Association members including Alliance Digitale (IAB France), BVDW, IAB Ireland, IAB Poland, IAB Spain, and IAB Sweden. 

The letter, sent to several Members of the European Parliament, the Swedish Presidency, and Commissioner Mr. Breton, warns of potential conflicts between the Data Act and the GDPR, emphasising the importance of ensuring a fair playing field. In particular, the letter expresses signatories’ concerns about the European Commission’s original proposal and the Council’s position on Article 6.2 (b) that clearly interfere with the GDPR and would lead to unintended consequences that will work against achieving a level playing field and impede innovation. 

The signatories made a recommendation to policymakers involved in the trilogue negotiations to ensure that the Data Act aligns with the GDPR by supporting the text adopted by Parliament concerning article 6.2 (b). Furthermore, they urged policymakers to ensure that the provisions set out in the GDPR, including safeguards to user privacy, prevail for the processing of personal data. Granting that the current EU data protection legal framework will secure a future-proof Data Act text, welcoming competition, growth in the digital economy and future innovations instead of ruling them out from the outset.

The full letter can be viewed on IAB Europe’s website here and below.

Date: 27 April 2023

Dear MEP Ms del Castillo and MEP Mr Lagodinsky, MEP Mr Bielan, MEP Mr García del Blanco, MEP Ms Kumpula-Natri, MEP Ms de la Pisa Carrión, MEP Mr Mituța, MEP Mr Boeselager, MEP Ms Lizzi, MEP Ms Kontoura,

Dear Ms Björesten and Mr Källström,

Dear Commissioner Mr Breton,

Industry representatives warn of potential conflicts between Data Act and GDPR and emphasise the importance of ensuring a fair playing field ahead of the trilogue negotiations.

We are a group of diverse stakeholders, including SMEs, representing different industries within the business community, including digital advertising and marketing. As the institutions enter trilogue negotiations on the proposal for a regulation on the harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data (the “Data Act”), we would like to reiterate our concerns about the potential unintended consequences of Article 6.2 (b). These concerns apply to the wording in the European Commission’s original proposal and the Council’s position that clearly interfere with the GDPR and work against achieving a level playing field and impede innovation. 

Regarding the Council’s changes to Article 6.2. (b), we fear that the scope of action for third parties is unjustifiably restricted by adding ambiguity to what constitutes an “objectively necessary” service and allowing profiling solely for the purpose of service delivery. Lack of legal certainty in the already complex digital world will trigger reticence to innovate for fear of a sanction.

While we support the changes proposed by the European Parliament for Articles 6. 2 (b) and 6.2 (c), we point out that the current wording of Article 5 (1) contradicts Article 6.2 (b) by adding an indicative list of limited purposes for data processing. On the contrary, we believe that the Data Act should be flexible and future-proof, welcoming future innovations instead of ruling them out from the outset.

The Data Act interferes with the GDPR and eliminates the legal basis of processing for third parties 

By effectively prohibiting practices that are fully compliant with the GDPR in Article 6.2 (b), the Data Act substantially undermines the existing data protection framework (GDPR) and its core principle that processing of personal data is permitted so long as it relies on one of the six legal bases.

Germany’s statement on 12 January 2023 proposed to remove Article 6.2 (b) from the Data Act, arguing that “the GDPR and the sector-specific data protection law must not be circumvented and their level of protection must be maintained”. We agree that the Data Act should establish norms for a coherent legal framework and should align with the GDPR's legal basis, as stated also in Article 1.3 of the Data Act, to ensure that the European data protection legal framework, especially the GDPR, remains applicable.

Circumventing the GDPR with a set of contradicting provisions would create commercial and legal uncertainty for entities that have adapted to its rules and strip them of the possibility to legally process personal data for profiling purposes. Additionally, due to a very broad definition of profiling that is still being interpreted by Data Protection Authorities and Courts, the magnitude of such prohibition is well underestimated and will outlaw longstanding and widely accepted processing activities in all industry sectors

This can be also illustrated by the following example in the energy sector: 

A connected product, such as an electricity meter, collects data through the use of its product. The data is then made available to the user through a third-party user-facing interface. Such an interface assists the user and facilitates his/her decision-making, for example by answering questions, such as “How much energy am I consuming per month?”. The possibility to answer this question relies on profiling operations related to the user’s activities and the use of the electricity meter. The prohibition of profiling would ultimately prevent device manufacturers from exploring lawful partnerships with

trusted third parties. The possibilities to enhance their products by offering customised, value-added services to consumers by handling personal and non-personal data would be significantly curtailed. 

Current provisions of the Data Act fail to ensure a level playing field and are in contrast with the regulation’s aim to foster innovation and economic growth 

The main issue lies in the differential treatment of the “data holder” who is allowed to carry out profiling activities, compared to the “data recipient”, who is prohibited from doing so under Article 6.2 (b) of the Data Act. 

This discrepancy could favour vertically integrated enterprises that already hold large amounts of data, aggravating data concentration, and enabling such enterprises to leverage further their integration and their data, including for profiling purposes. 

The Data Act aims to facilitate new and innovative uses of existing data. However, some businesses, which rely on the lawful processing of data for profiling , could be affected by Article 6.2 (b) of the Data Act. This could limit their ability to use data, create and train algorithms, which could have negative consequences not only for incubators of high-end digital skills but also SMEs that support the wider EU economy. Widespread data sharing allows SMEs to leverage customer data and provide efficient services and goods tailored to customer’s needs. Hence, the Data Act is crucial for SMEs’ willingness to access and process data and to allow new, innovative SMEs to emerge, grow and scale up. As highlighted above, such developments cannot be in line with EU’s competition goals and threaten the diversity of the digital economy. 

Concluding remarks

Given the potential impact of the Data Act on the digital economy and data-driven innovation, we believe it is crucial for policymakers to support the text adopted by Parliament regarding article 6.2 (b). Specifically, we recommend that policymakers ensure that the Data Act aligns with the GDPR and that it enables, rather than undermines, new data-driven business models and supply chains. In order to deliver pro-competitive outcomes, it is important for service providers, including commercial partnerships acting as third parties, to be able to continue to rely on the relevant GDPR legal bases when processing personal data for the purposes of profiling. Only these prerequisites will ensure that the EU's regulatory framework promotes innovation, competition, and growth in the digital economy while maintaining user privacy and data protection. We therefore urge co-legislators to take these considerations during the trilogue negotiations on the Data Act. 


Press contact: Helen Mussard, IAB Europe - mussard@iabeurope.eu


  1. Radosavljevic, Z., (19 January 2023), “Germany’s position on the Data Act”. EURACTIV. https://www.euractiv.com/section/data-privacy/news/germanys-position-on-the-data-act/
  2. As an example,The EDPB Guidelines on automated individual decision-making and profiling for the purposes of GDPR acknowledged the benefits for individuals and organisations of automated decision-making including the increased efficiencies and resource savings,  https://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/article29/items/612053 

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - 15 March 2023: IAB Europe confirmed today that the APD has voluntarily suspended the six-month implementation period of IAB Europe’s action plan.

IAB Europe’s action plan was unexpectedly validated by the APD on 11 January 2023, with a six-month deadline for implementation (11 July 2023). The validation occurred while outstanding points are being examined by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), further to IAB Europe’s appeal against the APD decision of February 2022 before the Belgian Market Court.

As a result, IAB Europe lodged a second appeal before the Belgian Market Court against the APD decision to validate the action plan and requested interim measures. This formal challenge turned out to be indispensable to prevent the APD from preempting the CJEU’s response and avoid implementation of changes to the TCF that may need to be rolled back when the CJEU’s ruling is rendered.

IAB Europe is pleased to confirm that the APD has decided as a result of IAB Europe’s appeal to suspend voluntarily the implementation period of the action plan. The Belgian Market Court’s ruling on this second appeal is expected at the end of Q2 or beginning of Q3 2023. If it then upholds the APD’s validation decision of January 2023, despite the fact that this validation decision was taken while the appeal against the February 2022 is pending, the implementation period will resume at that time. This would postpone the deadline for implementation to Q4 2023 instead of 11 July 2023.

“The APD’s validation of the action plan was a welcome confirmation of the legality of the TCF, but its timing had raised legitimate concerns,” noted Townsend Feehan, IAB Europe CEO, “many organisations in the sector have shared their surprise that the APD imposed a deadline for implementation despite the referral of key questions to the European Court of Justice.”

“Given the impact of that referral on the foundations of the APD’s decision of last year, and by extension on the action plan, that deadline in practice could have robbed the referral of its utility,” continued Feehan. “The voluntary suspension by the APD of the implementation of the action plan will enable the release of sustainable improvements to the TCF pending the decision of the Belgian Market Court.”

As the deadline of 11 July 2023 ceases to apply, IAB Europe will move forward with various iterations to the TCF that are less directly impacted by the CJEU procedure, including some that could not be contemplated in the allocated time. More information regarding such iterations and their timing will be provided at a later stage, so as to enable TCF participants to prepare for them.

An updated FAQ regarding the TCF can be found on IAB Europe’s website, here.



Privacy, transparency and sustainability are now more of a challenge than brand safety

9th March 2023, Brussels: IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem, today announced the findings of its 2023 Brand Safety Poll. 157 industry professionals from across the digital advertising value chain gave their opinions on how brand safety has been tackled over the past 12 months, providing insights on what action needs to happen in 2023. 

The results highlight how seriously the industry is taking brand safety, and show how the ecosystem has changed in the last couple of years to place more emphasis on ensuring brand safe environments.  67% of respondents agree or strongly agree that brand safety was a key priority for the industry in 2022 with 53% of respondents further agreeing that the industry has done a good job of tackling brand safety over the past 12 months. This is up from 36% in 2019. 71% cited technology innovations as helping to solve brand safety concerns. This is up from 65% in 2019. 

Helen Mussard, CMO, IAB Europe, commented: “The poll results highlight how seriously the digital advertising industry takes the safety of brand advertising investments and how improvements have been made in tackling this over the past couple of years. Furthermore, it is encouraging to see stakeholders recognise the importance that technology plays in tackling brand safety and suitability. We will continue to work with our members to highlight advances and best practices in this area, to enable brand safe experiences for both advertisers and consumers.”  

Privacy and Sustainability Now More of a Challenge than Brand Safety 

When asked to rank brand safety alongside other industry challenges, the majority of respondents (50%) said brand safety is the same in terms of challenges compared to last year. The challenges that have increased are privacy, transparency and sustainability. 57% of respondents said that privacy concerns are more of a challenge than last year, only 8% said it was less of a challenge. 44% of respondents said that transparency and sustainability are more of a challenge than last year compared to 39% that said brand safety. 

The Rise of Brand Suitability 

78% of respondents agree that there has been greater demand for brand suitability over the past 12 months More than 80% of respondents also cited that brand safety requires a bespoke approach to each client’s needs. 

Brand Safety in 2023

Looking at what needs to happen in 2023 to further tackle brand safety and ensure trust for both advertisers and consumers, responses focused on creating new rules for news creators; Safeguarding customer privacy, More technical support; More verification and Content control. 

The full results of the poll can be found on IAB Europe’s website here.

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