How is Gen AI Transforming the Digital Advertising Landscape in Europe?


Although professionals are increasingly leveraging Generative AI for content creation and creative endeavours, 89% of respondents call for more training initiatives, IAB Europe and Microsoft Advertising revealed. 

With the burgeoning adoption of Generative AI within the digital advertising sphere, brands and marketers are utilising its diverse applications to automate their marketing process. Advertisers are utilising Gen-AI-powered tools to streamline complex and time-consuming tasks to create result-driven advertising copy and imagery by utilising data-driven insights. 

A survey from IAB Europe and Microsoft revealed that 91% of European corporate members are already using or experimenting with Gen AI. However, a significant consensus has emerged regarding the pressing need for enhanced education in this field. Stakeholders still stress the importance of transparent delineation between human and Generative AI outputs to bolster trust in these technologies.

How are corporate members adopting generative AI to transform the digital advertising landscape? 

IAB Europe, in partnership with Microsoft Advertising, released its first research study on Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI) in digital advertising. It revealed valuable insights into the rapid adoption, diverse applications, and pressing educational needs surrounding Gen AI. 

Mascha Driessen, Microsoft Advertising’s Europe Regional Vice President, added, “This research demonstrates that adoption is rising, and it’s exciting to see the impact that Generative AI is already having on creativity, productivity, and performance.”

“These innovations will help everyone, everywhere, across the advertising ecosystem to achieve more than we ever imagined. However, it will take a focus on learning, experimentation, and partnership to tap into the transformative power of Generative AI.”

The survey utilised IAB Europe’s network of national IABs and corporate members across Europe and received 146 respondents, with nearly 50% of the respondents having over 10 years of experience working in the digital advertising industry across a variety of departments and markets in Europe. Here are a few key takeaways from the survey:

  • Around 87% of them understood it as a tool to create new content, such as images, text, or videos that are not based on existing data
  • Approximately 74% of the surveyed individuals described Gen AI as useful for solving specific problems or automating tasks
  • Almost 68% believe that they can continually learn to leverage the capabilities of GenAI tools from their own output
  • Over 46% use a set of predetermined rules to accomplish tasks utilising the GenAI-powered models 

Although professionals increasingly leverage Generative AI for content creation and creative endeavours, 89% of respondents call for more training initiatives. Additionally, it emphasises the importance of transparency and trust, as stakeholders navigate the integration of AI technologies into their workflows.

Also Read: Is Generative AI the Future of Consumer Marketing?

How to foster transparency while embracing GenAI in digital advertising? 

The survey revealed that 41% of the respondents said that they have a specific budget assigned to experiments with and using Gen AI, whilst 50% fostering AI talent within the team (e.g. upskilling current teams and hiring new talent). Additionally, almost one-third said that their company is providing dedicated days and time for team members to learn about AI. 

Marie-Clare Puffett, Insights & Industry Development Director of IAB Europe, said, “As the digital advertising landscape evolves, embracing Gen AI is essential for staying ahead of the curve. By addressing the educational gaps and fostering transparency, stakeholders can harness the full potential of this innovative technology.”