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#AWEurope Q&A: Sandy Hubert, Head of Cadreon UK

March 20, 2013
By Jay Stevens

jay-sandyIn advance of our Advertising Week Europe panel this Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 10am – Agency Trading Desks: Guaranteed Delivery? – The 1st Annual Real Time Trading Update from Europe’s Buy Side, I sat down for a Q&A with Sandy Hubert, Head of Cadreon UK.

Need a ticket to our panel discussion? Register for your place on the Advertising Week site.

SEARS: Tell us about Cadreon:

Cadreon is a service agency that integrates technology and data to manage audiences for our Pan European clients


What countries are you active in?

Cadreon UK has run campaigns in 20 markets:  UK, FR, DE, IT, ES, BE, NL, DK, SE, NO, FI, PT, CH, AT, HU, IR, ZA, JP, USA, Middle East.

What countries are you entering this year?

Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Malaysia

Worldwide, what percentage of business is in:

Europe – 40%

The United States – 40%

Asia – 20%

How many employees globally?

Worldwide – 200

SEARS: What are Cadreon’s three biggest initiatives in Europe for 2013?


  • Private Marketplace: Developing our partnerships with key publishers to expand our offering to premium environments
  • Video on Demand: Strong off our performance with video last year we are going to tackle Video on Demand this year
  • Data Management Program: Using our container tag solution Total Tag, Cadreon is integrating first and third party data to provide audience analysis to our clients

SEARS: How are you working with the operating agencies in your holding company?

HUBERT: Cadreon works very closely with all agencies within the IPG group and key members of my team, including myself, used to work for UM. Cadreon is currently putting a plan for hot desking so as to facilitate the communication between the account teams and ourselves. The Cadreon team provides regular training sessions to educate clients, account teams and key stakeholders.

SEARS: If part of the push is your involvement earlier in process, at the time of planning, how much of buying today is programmatic and how much of a plan could be programmatic?

HUBERT: Thanks to our integrated approach, Cadreon gets involved at the early stages of the briefing/planning process. Cadreon provides a recommendation but the key is to educate clients and account teams on the contribution that programmatic buying can do for their activity.

On average about 9-10% of the display budget is allocated to programmatic and this should increase this year thanks to our private marketplace offering.

If successful in the long term, do trading desks essential become a fully integrated, back office function

HUBERT: Yes it seems very likely that trading desks will become a fully integrated functional part of the strategic media units.

SEARS: Let’s talk about direct deal automation and the path to programmatic guaranteed. From our global vantage point we see the European market leading the way in direct deal automation. Premium publishers such as The Guardian, the La Place consortium, the Telegraph, ebay, Hearst and News International etc have embraced direct deals and so have the trading desks. We believe 2013 is the Year of Programmatic Guarantee—where SSPs and DSPs will allow trading desks to deliver guaranteed budgets.

SEARS: Is your trading desk capturing guaranteed budgets today or do you plan to in 2013?

HUBERT: Cadreon’s core proposition is centered on audience management. The key is to engage with the right audience in real time. As such Cadreon has not committed any guaranteed budget with any publishers thus far.

SEARS: What technical and supply components are needed in the market today to deliver guaranteed budgets that are not widely available?

HUBERT: Publishers will need to release more RTB enabled inventory on SSPs in order to get guaranteed budgets. At this stage only a few publishers have fully embraced this space.

SEARS: What assurance can you give publisher CROs that programmatic guarantee is in fact an enhancement to their direct selling effort and not an end run around their selling channel?

HUBERT: Cadreon does not work in a guaranteed budget model; however, we often have conversations with publishers that are concerned by the cannibalization of their inventory between their direct sales team and trading desks. Cadreon does not compete with the direct buys (HPTO) and actively engages with publishers to complement the activity on the plan.

SEARS: Does programmatic guaranteed have to be delivered via RTB

HUBERT: Though Cadreon does not currently work in a programmatic guaranteed fashion, our buying model is solely focused on RTB.

SEARS: Why is guaranteed budget delivery so important? Is it important?

HUBERT: Guaranteed budget is important for publishers; but from a client’s point of view, finding the right audience that will engage with their ads and convert is what matters the most.

SEARS: What is the importance of 1st party publisher data in direct programmatic deals? Is this being utilized because of the strength of 1st party publisher data or the overall weakness / lack of availability of 3rd party data in European markets? Does 1st party data scale?

HUBERT: 3rd party data is indeed weak in some European markets. Striking deals with key publishers to access their data appears to be an efficient way to counteract the scarcity of data available.

SEARS: On average, is mobile and or video more than ten percent (each) of a typical budget allocation? More or less? And how will this change in 2013?

HUBERT: Though there is an increased interest in mobile RTB, budgets allocated have been fairly small compared to Video RTB, which has been a real success for us last year. In 2013, Cadreon is looking to increase its offering in mobile RTB and is working closely with Ansible to deliver bespoke creatives in real time.

SEARS: Can direct deal automation for mobile accelerate faster than display [because there is less traditional buying and selling infrastructure around this]? Or will it be adopted at the same pace of display? What about video?

HUBERT: The latest trends and mobile sessions suggest so. There is an eagerness to capture this space quickly as mobile consumption is predominant in some European markets.

Video is likely to follow the same pace as display.

SEARS: Viewability. The IAB is working on 3MS and a viewability standard. How are you thinking about viewability—for measurement? For billing? Is the industry ready?  

HUBERT: Viewability is a key metric to assess the quality of the audience targeted. However, the core of the online advertising industry still relies on standard metrics like clicks/impressions to report on the success of a campaign. The industry needs to create standard guidelines so as to support the shift from standard metrics to viewability and this will rely on both education in agency and technology adaptation.

SEARS: All of you work for global companies. What are your US counterparts most surprised by when they visit? What are you most surprised by when you look at your firms US operations and market?

HUBERT: Most of my US counterparts are surprised by the pace at which Europe has embraced RTB. The adoption is faster than on their markets and we are already developing DMP programs integrating data and technology to service our clients. The US market is more fragmented due to its geography so it seems that mobile advertising appears more challenging than for us.

Tell us a bit more about you:

SEARS: What’s your Favorite Football Team?

HUBERT: Olympique de Marseille (OM)

SEARS: What’s your favorite question when interviewing a prospective employee?

HUBERT: If you could be a superhero who would you be and why?

SEARS: If your co-workers picked a single word to describe you, what would it be?

HUBERT: Shrewd

SEARS: What did you do last weekend?

HUBERT: I was doing a road trip in Iceland, trying to chase the Northern lights…epic fail

Thanks Sandy!

Sandy Hubert, Head of Cadreon UK, is leading the charge for IPG Mediabrands’ programmatic buying in the UK. Cadreon is part of the Mediabrands Audience Platform (MAP) specialised marketing services platform that integrates technology, data and inventory to manage audiences for its clients. Cadreon enjoyed a fabulous 2012 in the UK and has expanded to international campaigns under her stewardship.

Prior to joining Cadreon, Sandy completed stints at Universal McCann (IPG), Mediacom (WPP) and Diffiniti (now iProspect, Aegis). Sandy has digital coursing through her veins with experience in SEO, paid search, affiliates, social media, display, video and mobile advertising.

Before joining the media agency world, Sandy worked as a business analyst for a strategy consultancy firm.

Sandy graduated in Marketing/E-commerce from Temple University Philadelphia in 2004.

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