Successful launch of the Attention Council in the UK

Over 100 representatives of brands, agencies, publishers and format owners met at The Guardian’s offices in central London this morning for the inaugural Attention Council event in the UK. A key theme of the event was the difference between advertising that is viewable and advertising that is actually viewed.
The Attention Council is a loose confederation of companies that have come together to promote the use of attention as a metric for understanding and trading media. The founding members are Lumen, Amplified Intelligence, TVision, Adelaide and Avocet. They have joined forced to share insights, methodologies and standards.
The first speaker at the conference was Martin Radford of Ebiquity, who talked through the Mind the Gap report into the reality of attention to TV, YouTube and Facebook ads. He stressed the difference between the number of impressions served on each platform, and the actual attention that they receive, citing data from work they had done with The Audience project as well as insights from Lumen and TVision.
He was followed by System 1’s Orlando Wood, talking about his new book, Lemon: how the advertising brain turned sour. Orlando’s talk highlighted the importance of emotive advertising in gaining attention and driving engagement, and pointed to bleak future if the industry continues to privilege the ‘left brain’ over the ‘right brain’.
The session concluded with a panel discussion on the importance of context in a post-cookie world, featuring Katie Hartley of Dentsu, Vanessa Goff-Yu of Bidstack and Nick Hewat of The Guardian, moderated by Dino Myers-Lamptey, one of the founders of The Barber Shop. In this discussion the importance of context as a driver of attention came to the fore, with in-game advertising and quality publishing providing an environment that was more likely to turn the opportunity to see and ad into an actual view.
Each session was accompanied by a lively set of questions from the audience.
The session started with a brief introduction to the aims and objectives of the Council, and the announcement of the addition of representatives from Diageo, Mars and Microsoft in the States. UK brands and agencies were invited to join the Council on this side of the Atlantic and shape its future direction.
The introduction also gave us a chance to highlight the launch of Karen Nelson Field’s new book. Karen is one of the founders of the Council, and her new book, The Attention Economy and How Media Works, will be formally launched in London tomorrow.
The Attention Council would like to thank The Guardian for their hospitality and generosity, and all the speakers for their time and effort.