The Guardian is preparing to sue adtech firm Rubicon Project

28 Mar 2017  |  David Pidgeon 
The Guardian is preparing to sue adtech firm Rubicon Project

Well this is an interesting development.

Six months after the Guardian revealed it was losing as much as 70 pence in every pound to adtech middlemen, this week the publisher confirmed it is preparing to sue Rubicon Project "for the recovery of non-disclosed buyer fees in relation of Guardian inventory."

The move, confirmed on Tuesday (28 March), should shine some light on the murky world of adtech supply chains, where dozens of players extract fees as an ad moves along the pipes from advertiser to publisher.

Last year the Guardian told Mediatel that a host of adtech businesses are extracting up to 70% of advertisers' money without being able to quantify the value they provide to the brand.

"There's leakage," the Guardian's chief revenue officer, Hamish Nicklin said. "The money that goes in is not the same as the money that goes out.

"There are so many different players taking a little cut here, a little cut there - and sometimes a very big cut. A lot of the money that [advertisers] think they are giving to premium publishers is not actually getting to us."

On Tuesday Rubicon said it disputes the allegation, stating that it charges buyer fees for certain services and that it disclosed that fact both publicly and in the contract it signed with Guardian over a year ago.

"We split our fees between sellers and buyers, reflecting the value we provide to both," Rubicon said.

"Our marketplace fees on transactions support the considerable and compounding costs of performing an open auction - including our extensive brand protection and inventory quality screening, and malware protection. As we add new buyers and sellers onto the platform, the resulting impact is compounding infrastructure costs. Without buyer fees we would need to charge sellers more, and we think our approach is fair."

Rubicon added that it believes the fees it charges "represent value" for its services and are in line with industry practice. It added that the Guardian’s claims "amount to a contract dispute, which we will vigorously contest in court."

Latest

Unprecedentedly unpresidential: Trump's war on journalism Trying harder....and living the brand promise Advertisers lose out as YouTube struggles with fake views Sign-up for free speed mentoring Exterion brings rolling news to the Tube

Related articles

Understanding auction dynamics on the buy side Major publishers to launch joint digital ad sales house Only 28% of programmatic ad money reaches 'working media'
Leave a comment

Thank you for your comment - a copy has now been sent to the Newsline team who will review it shortly. Please note that the editor may edit your comment before publication.

BoWilliams, Partner, Brand Links on 29 Mar 2017
“Get the Popcorn this will be interesting to watch”

DATA SNAPSHOT

03 Aug 2018 

Data from Mediatel Connected
Find out more about the UK's most comprehensive aggregator of media data.

Arrange a demo
Advertisement

Newsline Bulletins

Receive weekly round-ups of the latest comment, opinion and media news, direct to your inbox.

More Info
Advertisement