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BBC's Bowman: Humans Beat Robots At Digital Brand Advertising

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LONDON - Programmatic online advertising technology isn't yet good enough, and will never match human salespeople for brand ad sales. That's according to BBC Worldwide's strategy and operations VP for global advertising sales, Tom Bowman.

"There are some websites that have gotten rid of their salespeople," Bowman told me during our one-on-one interview at Beet.TV's London Video Ad Strategy Summit last month. "That kind of stuff fits naturally in to something a machine can do. If you're selling to brand advertisers, most of whom want more engagement with you and want more of something special, then that sort of stuff isn't very tradable."

Bowman also said the mechanistic programmatic ad technology "is not fit for purpose yet": "It looks like an alternate ecosystem for what the ad networks were doing 10 years ago, rather than a solution for the end of the market we're trying to be in."