By Hannah Bowler, Senior Reporter

February 13, 2024 | 7 min read

Some seismic changes are set to reshape the media landscape in 2024. We ask media experts at Dunnhumby, GroupM, Deliveroo and HP what changes to expect in the year ahead.

From the immediate impact of generative AI to the longer-term effects of economic and environmental forces, some of the major players in the industry have come together to mull over the future of media at The Drum’s Predictions event. Setting the tone, Zuzanna Gierlinska, chief growth officer at GroupM Nexus, says that 2024 has to be the year that the industry addresses its sustainability commitments.

“Sadly, from a sustainability perspective, we haven’t made as much progress as we should have,” she says. “It should be the intention of everybody in this industry that we make sustainability a core part of every campaign; it should be weaved into the DNA - it’s no longer optional.”

Sebastian Bourne is head of media North West and Central Europe at HP and has been reviewing how his team can offset carbon emissions through proactive media planning. But one of his major challenges is around measurement. “Right now, about 30 plus tools are giving you a score from x to y. However, no one seems to agree what these elements and criteria need to be,” Bourne says. Ad Net Zero is working to bring a measurement framework to market.

The media industry will have to navigate challenging economic and political uncertainty this year with elections in the UK and US, international conflict and inflation still at record levels.

Strategy manager at Dunnhumby, Ed Sellier, says that marketer’s number one concern right now should be “protecting” the customer and ensuring they get the best value.

“How do advertisers make clear their value proposition because there is a big price war going out across the board at the moment,” Sellier questions. He tells brands when advertising against thousands of other brands competing on price, “you've got to command a price premium because you’re the brand that’s worth paying for over an own brand label.”

“Proving the value advertiser value proposition,” is front of mind for Alex Prouhet, global director of commercial operations at Deliveroo Advertising. He gave an example of when Deliveroo highlights price parity between in-store and on the platform to ensure customers get the best deal possible.

Suggested newsletters for you

Daily Briefing


Catch up on the most important stories of the day, curated by our editorial team.

Ads of the Week


See the best ads of the last week - all in one place.

The Drum Insider

Once a month

Learn how to pitch to our editors and get published on The Drum.

“Deliveroo has done a lot in terms of promotions or working with retailers to ensure that it is consistently providing value back to the consumer. [That means] developing an ecosystem that really had them in mind from both a platform and product perspective, but also from a retail media and advertising perspective as well,” he explains.

Bourne adds that while there is uncertainty in the marketplace, the Paris Olympics and the European football championships in Germany provide cause for optimism. “As advertisers, we should be adaptable to this marketplace and actually jump on to opportunities. We’ve got two massive events coming [and there’s] space for some really good strategies, really good tactics, for our clients and for our brands,” he says.

Retail media was the buzzword of 2023 but is set to get even bigger in the years ahead. GroupM data had forecasted that retail media would represent 14.4% of total advertising revenue in 2023 and will reach 15.4% by 2028.

Prouhet is behind Deliveroo’s ad business and believes the definition of retail media is still being developed. “Some folks might define us as retail media,” he says. "We look at ourselves as a quick commerce marketplace, [a] rapid delivery on-demand grocery marketplace. Along with grappling with what retail media encompasses, Prouhet adds: “The technology used to power it as well as the data used to measure it is still very much in flux.”

For Dunnhumby, the network that powers Tesco’s retail media business, Sellier says that as more retailers jump on the bandwagon “we need to be making sure that transparency and accountability around those evaluation frameworks is right at the forefront.”

In the coming year, Sellier is looking forward to how brand segmentation evolves. “It is usually quite a static thing, often reviewed annually, or every six months. But how do you start to build those segments into an addressable format and start to play with those across the media plan?” he asks.

Gierlinska had the final word on retail media by telling brands to be “cautious” about what impact they are measuring. “It's a growing channel but is it incremental? Just be clear with your measurement strategies so that you’re not just measuring something you’d have caught over here, and you’re now calling it retail media; that it’s really driving that uplift,” she says.

AI is the final major force that will come to shape the media landscape in 2024. At Deliveroo, Prouhet says it is affecting every part of the business from the merchant to the riders to the internal teams. “There is huge opportunity to use generate AI for imagery and language and making sure that the right creative serves to the right user at the right time,” he explains.

Retail Media Media Planning and Buying Media

More from Retail Media

View all