They threaten a nice and cosy Ad network world where the networks manage to co exist by all buying the same inventory in exchanges, using client data and passing it back to agencies at a nice margin. Let me ask a few questions:
1. Does the average client / buyer realise the Ad networks that all have nice individual sounding names are all down shopping at the same auction, forcing up the prices for our clients and making delectable margins.
2. Why is it so bad that the agencies are bringing transparency back out of the black boxes of the performance networks, so we all learn?
3.. When did an Ad network last tell you how they achieved their results? They wont as they have to expose their exchange buying techniques. Agencies can now show the workings not just the answer.
4. Why would a client be happy to spray their data around like its going out of fashion – it’s a valuable commodity that is being used by networks to power the individual client results as well as who knows what else?
5. Is the client absolutely sure that their data is not being used by an ad network to power one of the clients competitors?
6. Why are the publishers fighting tooth and nail to protect their data whilst advertisers are giving it away?
Lets balance off this debate a little and ask who the main protagonists are in the debate, perhaps there are people out to protect their business models. I will say that our clients are getting better results, more transparency and better control of their data. Does not sound too bad to me.
Finally can we stop building cases on the back of a couple of media buyers who we don’t know the identity of, who have probably not got a pay rise this year. If this was a court of law it would all be thrown out. If I were a client, I would trust the agency as we have a lot more to lose, the networks win some lose some.
In case this annoys anyone, these are my views, not the views of my organisation.