Adform: The First Challenge for Sustainability Is Education

Adform: The First Challenge for Sustainability Is Education

Interview by Nikola Djuric
Published: December 13, 2023

Today, we delve into the world of digital advertising and its environmental impact, featuring insights from John Piccone, a leader at Adform - a company addressing the carbon footprint associated with digital advertising.

We look at the challenges faced in integrating this feature into client campaigns and the feedback from those who've embraced the sustainability-first approach.

It's key to balance between maintaining advertising performance and promoting sustainability. As consumer awareness grows, we explore how this demand is shaping the future of carbon-efficient advertising and what advice Adform offers to brands beginning to consider the environmental impact of their campaigns.


Who Is John Piccone?

John is Adform's Regional President, Americas based in the U.S. who joined the company in 2022. John has been at the forefront of advertising technology for the entirety of his career, boasting nearly three decades of experience formulating commercial strategy and operational structure to maximize revenue through media, technology and advertising services. Before joining Adform, John served in executive and leadership roles at Viamedia, Simulmedia, Innovid, HealthiNation, BlackArrow (Cadent) and 24/7 Real Media (Xaxis).

How did Adform initially recognize the significant carbon footprint associated with digital advertising?

Adform believes that a positive impact on the environment is not only achieved through larger initiatives but also acts of consciousness in our day-to-day decisions.

As an AdTech leader, Adform is committed to addressing its own emissions, but to also take steps to provide solutions to marketers that enable more sustainable choices.

Today, 97.8% of Adform’s data centers are powered by sustainable energy and Adform was the first global DSP to integrate with Scope3 to offer brands and agencies more options to reduce the carbon emissions from their advertising campaigns.

Get connected with the right advertising agency for your project.

How does Adform's integrated Carbon Reduction feature help in quantifying and reducing these emissions?

Through Adform’s partnership with Scope3, marketers have the option to buy more sustainable advertising at scale, along with quantifiable data to selectively eliminate high-emission domains within Adform’s platform, Adform FLOW.

The carbon reduction capabilities – provided within its DSP – allow marketers to leverage real-time insights and data to inform and enable planning, as well as the real-world ad delivery capability to reduce emissions without compromising performance.

What are the main challenges Adform faces when integrating a Carbon Reduction feature into a client’s campaign?

Our first challenge and opportunity is to educate.

The technical implications of sustainability are complex, and to develop a collaborative integration process we must ensure there is a mutual understanding of the capabilities that exist.

Our goal then becomes configuring those capabilities in a way that prioritizes unique business outcomes for clients.

What feedback have you received from clients about your Carbon Reduction feature? Is there a growing demand for sustainability-oriented solutions?

We’ve received substantial feedback from our clients regarding the importance of prioritizing campaign performance while implementing our carbon reduction capabilities.

By enabling our carbon reduction feature, powered by Scope3 directly through our DSP and campaign measurement platform Adform FLOW, our clients can access real-time insights and data to inform and enable planning, as well as the real-world ad delivery capability to reduce emissions without compromising performance.

According to our recent study conducted with YouGov, sustainability is split when it comes to planning and process.

While 35% of U.S. respondents consider sustainability as part of the marketing production and planning process, 36% do not factor in sustainability at all, noting they either have other priorities or have yet to find out how to include sustainability in their daily business (18%).

As a technology provider, we have a responsibility to support our clients as they navigate industry challenges and complexities – and it’s no different with sustainability.

At Adform, we remain committed to providing our clients with features and reports that help enable carbon reduction and knowledge sharing to enable our clients to practice more sustainable trading practices while prioritizing performance.

Adform's logo on a white background

How does Adform educate and inform clients about the importance and benefits of carbon-efficient campaigns?

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) is a core component of Adform’s company strategy, driven by a steering committee consisting of Adform’s CEO, COO and CHRO.

Adform also works closely through its memberships with key industry initiatives, such as the IAB Europe sustainability board, to establish industry standards and help build a more sustainable future for advertising.

Via Adform’s practical hands "tips and tricks" handouts, we enable the traders to consider how they set and operate online campaigns when operating them day-to-day.

How hard is it to balance advertising performance while promoting sustainability?

The rapid development and innovation of the digital marketing landscape have always posed challenges for marketers.

Today, we’re not only seeing those challenges proliferate as topics of transparency and performance become critical to success – we’re also seeing overarching pressures like sustainability add considerable complexity to decision-making.

With Adform’s carbon reduction capabilities, advertisers and agencies have the best of both worlds.

With a single platform to minimize carbon emission, and shift the budget to less emission media, Adform clients can emit less CO2 in their supply chain through more climate-conscious decisions while prioritizing and driving peak performance.

How do you foresee consumer awareness and demand shaping the future of carbon-efficient advertising?

Consumers have become incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to how companies operate – from technical matters like data usage and privacy to societal issues like diversity, equality and inclusion.

Sustainability has become a critical decision point for consumers – We believe consumers want to spend their money with brands they feel good about.

It has become something they might even pay more for – and with this shift in purchase behavior in mind, must take into account how their advertising impacts the globe – from production and distribution to advertising and marketing.

What advice would you give to brands who are just beginning to consider the environmental impacts of their digital campaigns?

To fully embrace a more sustainable advertising process, it’s imperative for advertisers to first understand their digital carbon footprint – asking questions and analyzing data to realistically set goals and expectations.

From there, it’s all about partnering with the right technology provider – one who can help you reach your sustainability goals without compromising advertising performance and outcomes.

We thank Adform for this conversation. If you enjoyed it too, be sure to stay tuned for more of our interviews with industry experts!

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