YOUR NAME: Dan Salmon

YOUR COMPANY: BMO Capital Markets

YOUR TITLE: Managing Director

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with politics, art and culture?

SALMON: Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Drudge Report, Foreign Affairs, Rolling Stone, Economist

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with friends?

SALMON: College friends’ email list and Facebook

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with the advertising technology industry?

SALMON: Adexchanger, Advertising Age, Jay Sears’ interviews on MediaVillage

SEARS: What’s your favorite commercial of all time?

SALMON: I’m not a big gamer, but the publishers make some of the most fun ads.  Plus all things are better when Nate Dogg (RIP) is involved. Close runner up is a reminder of Super Bowl spot cost inflation.

SEARS: With regards to advertising automation, what are the three biggest trends you expect to impact companies in 2016?


  1. The industry-wide “benefits” of ad blocking. It helps support pricing across the ecosystem by constraining supply growth and disproportionately impacts low quality publishers with low quality ad experiences. Thus it disproportionately benefits premium publishers with better ad experiences.
  2. The growth of header bidding and the re-evaluation of basic infrastructures for traditional digital programmatic.
  3. The continued push for transparency in all of its forms, be it less opaque vendor contracts/relationships, fighting bot traffic or increasing viewability.

SEARS: With regards to advertising automation, what are the three most overblown topics that you wish would just go away?


  1. $$$ amount estimates for the impact of ad-blocking; they tend to estimate the amount of ads blocked and then assume an average price, and thus total dollars lost.  This fails to account for the fact that even if ads are being blocked, the marketer may still generate a better ROI in a given channel versus alternatives.
  1. Trying to “define” programmatic.  So much time is wasted on this. At its broadest, its basic automation and data applied to decision making; at its most narrow, it’s real-time algorithms and data feeds in an auction environment.

SEARS: Tell us your coverage universe.


SEARS: The majority of ad technology companies has not performed well in the public markets. Of the poor performers, what are the commonalities between them that have contributed to this weakness?

SALMON: Failure to transition to more visible, more self-serve-oriented delivery models or to incorporate deeper integration with the clients’ first-party data.

SEARS: A smaller handful of ad technology companies has performed better than the rest. What are the commonalities between them that have contributed to this relative strength?

SALMON: Self-serve delivery models, first-party data integration, cross-channel functionality and (increasingly) tying more directly to third-party shopper data sources.

SEARS: Do we live in a “tale of two cities” where Google and Facebook win almost everything, advertisers are dictated to and other media companies fight for the scraps?

SALMON: No. Both have massive audiences and data resources, and Google has the dominant third-party ad tech business in DoubleClick. But neither makes premium content and both will continue to increase their partnerships and compensation to media companies and other creators as brand budgets increase as a mix of their revenue.

SEARS: Please answer the following statements “yes” or “no.”


SEARS: If you could go to the airport right now with friends or family and fly anywhere in the world for vacation, who would you take and where would you go?

SALMON: Parents, sister’s family, goddaughter’s family. Winter is coming, so somewhere warm.

SEARS: If you could create an endowment to fund any existing non-profit you designated, what lucky non-profit organization would that be?

SALMON: Giving Opportunities to Others, a charity I helped found with friends 15 years ago.

SEARS: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?

SALMON: My mother’s kitchen.

SEARS: Thanks, Dan!

See PDF or original article from January 2016.