MediaMath and Rubicon Project aim to clean up programmatic delivery

18 Jun 2019  |  David Pidgeon 
MediaMath and Rubicon Project aim to clean up programmatic delivery

Adtech business MediaMath is to launch a "reimagined" programmatic supply chain in partnership with global exchange Rubicon Project.

The businesses want to create a new "transparent programmatic delivery infrastructure", and have secured Havas as the first agency to join the collaboration.

The news comes after years of disquiet about the shady programmatic world in which the majority of money is extracted by adtech middlemen, fraudsters and agency fees.

Recent findings from WARC show that in worst-case scenarios just 28% of advertiser money makes it to the working media, while in best case scenarios - which assume ad fraud levels of only 10% - the level of investment reaching working media rises to $22.8bn, or 36% of total investment.

“The current media supply chain is failing advertisers, publishers and consumers,” said Joe Zawadzki, founder & CEO, MediaMath on Tuesday.

“We’re taking the first step to create necessary change by partnering with Rubicon Project and Havas. A more accountable and addressable ecosystem, with the right values and purpose, will only come if a motivated and united alliance of leading marketers and agencies, with the right tech companies and publishers, working together.”

The "reimagined" digital media supply chain features end-to-end fee transparency, direct connections between buyers and sellers and focuses on the availability of brand safe, fraud-free, viewable inventory, MediaMath said.

Andrew Goode, executive vice president, head of programmatic, Havas Media Group, said the agency network was taking part to "pave the way for a path" to clean, high-quality supply and create solutions that will benefit all constituents within the ecosystem.

"In working together, we hope to lead the industry in removing the bad actors and negative headlines with SPO and addressable supply chain," he said. "Modernising how the supply chain operates will impact and benefit the entire ecosystem.”

Havas is now able to inform clients with "log-level" transparency for end-to-end supply chain costs. This is designed to let advertisers understand the true cost of media for each impression and evaluate eCPM ranges across a wide portfolio of publishers who have opted into publisher fee transparency with Rubicon Project.

MediaMath said advertisers and agencies can now bid "appropriately" on publisher inventory in auctions and understand true performance to their KPIs, where cost of media is used to calculate their metrics.

"This level of data enables advertisers to reach publishers directly and create a feedback loop that empowers publishers with the type of media performance metrics that work best for advertisers so they can manage, optimise and price their content appropriately," the company said.

Today's news chimes with the revelation at the end of 2016, that, in worst-case scenarios, for every pound an advertiser spent programmatically on the Guardian only 30 pence was going to the publisher.

Ironically, the Guardian went on to sue Rubicon Project, alleging the vendor siphoned undisclosed fees from programmatic advertising buys across its site. Rubicon Project later filed a counterclaim, denying liability.

The dispute was mutually settled at the end of last year through a confidential settlement.

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19 Jul 2019 

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