Digital advertising veteran Anthony Katsur has been named chief executive of the IAB Tech Lab, a global nonprofit that promotes common standards and technology for digital advertising, at a moment of flux for the digital advertising industry.
The appointment comes weeks after
Google said it would delay its planned removal of third-party cookies in its Chrome browser, a victory for the IAB Tech Lab, which was part of a chorus of industry voices calling for Google to give the industry more time to prepare for the change. Cookies are data files embedded in browsers that advertisers use to buy targeted digital ads.
But Apple Inc.’s own policy changes regarding consumer tracking on the iPhone are already starting to have real effects on the digital advertising industry.
Mr. Katsur said he intends to focus on priorities like setting standards for alternative forms of addressable digital advertising that satisfy consumer privacy, creating common frameworks and standards for the emerging connected-TV industry, improving security and fighting ad fraud.
One of his first initiatives will be the creation of the IAB Tech Lab Transparency Center, where buyers and sellers of digital advertising can learn what standards on privacy and other matters their partners follow and which compliance programs have certified them.
“It becomes, in essence, this single-source dictionary or encyclopedia of exactly how vendors in the industry or publishers in the industry are complying with things like consumer privacy frameworks,” Mr. Katsur said.
Mr. Katsur had been senior vice president for digital strategy, corporate development and operations at Nexstar Media Group Inc., the largest local television and media company in the U.S. He previously held leadership roles at advertising technology companies including Sonobi,
MediaMath and DoubleClick.
He succeeds Dennis Buchheim, who left in May after four years to take a post at
“The industry is at a point where we are rearchitecting everything we’ve done for the past two decades,” said David Cohen, CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, or IAB, a U.S. digital advertising trade group that works closely with the tech lab. “Tony has spent his entire career really in the thick of it, in the weeds, in the muck, getting stuff done at the strategic level and the operational level, which I think is critically important.”
In his role at Nexstar, Mr. Katsur ran experiments showing how uncomfortably dependent publishers were on Google’s advertising technology. Now, with Google on the board of the tech lab, he wants to keep dialogue open.
“It’s not like as an industry you get around Google,” Mr. Katsur said. “The ecosystem is better in having constant communication and partnership with Google to drive the industry forward.”
Write to Keach Hagey at [email protected]
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