“We felt uncomfortable with the lack of control we had over the spend coming into our network, which was on the Google platform,” said Stefan Havik, DPG Media’s chief digital officer. “We didn’t know who was buying or for what price as a result of this so we changed our advertising stack.”
To do this, the publisher recently rolled out its own version of Google’s Ad Manager tool, but with a more streamlined approach.
Like its namesake, DPG Media’s Ad Manager functions similarly to an ad exchange, but with a unique twist — now it’s the publisher that has direct control over which inventory is sold to advertisers. And the best part? Advertisers can buy it all directly, without Google or any other middlemen getting in the way. Normally, they’d have to go through demand-side platforms and other ad tech vendors, but not anymore.
However, don’t mistake it for a typical demand-side platform (DSP). DPG Media’s Ad Manager doesn’t prioritize extensive brand safety or fraud controls.
According to Havik, those issues are more prevalent when buying through ad tech intermediaries rather than directly from publishers. He emphasized that when advertisers purchase ads on their platform, they know exactly what they’re getting and where the ads will appear.
In theory, this should mean more of that money goes toward showing ads — i.e. “working media” — than on things like ad tech fees and other costs. So let’s say a marketer wanted to bid on DPG Media’s inventory at €2.50, for instance. If the bid was made through ad tech then they’d probably have to bid more — say €3.50, for example — to make sure the publisher gets the €2.50 after all the ad tech fees have been subtracted.
“We made our platform free so we don’t take any fees,” said Havik. “And the fee that gets freed up from not having to be spent in the traditional supply chain is left with the advertiser to decide what they do with it.”
Advertisers can still use their own independent DSP to buy ads from DPG Media. They just won’t be able to do so for any of its customized formats nor will they be able to use the ad tech to buy ads with an alternative ID. Instead, those advertisers will have to use DPG Media’s audience data to target its readers.
“From an identity perspective, the identity in our network is first party and is stable,” said Havik. “If you buy from our network [Ad Manager] then the identity of the audience lasts a lot longer than the typical week-long-period you’d get if you used a DSP.”
This stance isn’t likely to change. Like other publishers, DPG Media doesn’t back alternatives to the third-party cookie it can’t control. As Havik explained: “We don’t support any of those universal ID solutions because we believe they’re not sustainable.”
There aren’t many publishers that can afford to take this stance. Refusing to work with those solutions means refusing the ad dollars that get spent on the back of them. DPG Media, however, can do so because it has a scale that alternative IDs don’t. Moreover, DPG Media’s ad tech seems to perform well against other ad tech vendors — at least according to the early tests.
For the last year or so, the publisher has been running closed beta tests with advertisers and agencies including IPG’s Matterkind, Omnicom, Renaul, Decathlon, Accenture and Germany’s MediaMarkt. During this time, the publisher said ads bought via the DPG Ad Manager had a 39 percent lower cost per thousand viewable impressions (vCPM) and 43 percent lower cost per conversion (CPA), compared to other established platforms.
“With performance up to three times better than the campaign average, we manage to create relevant value for our clients within Ad Manager and exceed expectations,” said Tim Rowinkel, the programmatic director at OMD.
Getting to this point has been a long and arduous uncoupling from Google. Since 2019, it has replaced Google Analytics with competitor Snowplow, built its own platform for sharing its data, and also decided to reduce the amount of ad inventory it sold in the open market where the price of ads is determined in real-time auctions.
“We’ve tried to focus on creating products that will make our advertising work better, rather than focusing on doing what we can to increase margins or CPMs,” said Havik. “I don’t care about those things. I only care about making sure our network is performing well, and competitively from a direct response or branding perspective, versus Facebook and YouTube.”
It’s uncertain if this will be persuasive enough to sway more advertisers to join the movement, as they tend to stick with the established norms. However, if there’s ever a right time for them to embrace the vision of publishers like DPG Media, it’s now. As the industry moves close to limitations on third-party addressability, it will become increasingly challenging for advertisers to overlook the moves made by these publishers.
Whether this is enough to convince more advertisers to follow suit remains to be seen. They’re not known for deviating from the status quo. That said, if they are going to buy into what publishers like DPG Media are trying to do then now is as good a time as ever. The closer the industry gets to third-party addressability being throttled the harder it’s going to be for advertisers to ignore what these publishers are trying to do.
“This type of move could work, particularly with publishers that have a large direct business,” said Sasha Auzins, co-founder and chief operating officer at media consulting business Elaboration. “Integrations would be the key, how the platform connects into the programmatic ecosystem as well as what segmentation capability is built in. GAM is a full featured product, so the detail on which features the DPG platform includes would be important.”
Elon Musk’s X Slapped With Trademark Lawsuit From Social Media Ad Agency
That ad agency, X Social Media, sued X. Corp in Florida on Monday, arguing that consumers are likely to to confused their ad services with the Elon Musk
The complaint, which was first reported by Bloomberg Law, states that X Social Media, LLC “has continuously used the X Social Media Mark in commerce since at least early 2016,” and that the Elon Musk-owned company was aware of X Social Media’s pre-existing rights to the trademark its brand overhaul.
In the filing, X Social Media — an advertising agency service geared towards law firms — claims that it has invested over $400 million in advertising, $2 million of which was dedicated to brand awareness, and that X. Corp’s name change will be “financially and strategically harmful” to the Florida-based agency.
“In a short time, X Corp. has wielded its social media clout, marketing resources, and overall national notoriety to dominate consumer perception of its ‘X’ mark,” the complaint states.
It is seeking an order that would block X Corp. from continuing to use the X name and requested an unspecified amount of money damages.
Elsewhere on Monday, Musk was also sued for libel after falsely claiming Ben Brody, 22, a recent graduate of the University of Riverside, California, was a government agent posing as a neo-Nazi. The lawsuit accused the billionaire of making “reckless false statements” and “promotion of disinformation,” and seeks $1 million in damages.
Texas firm Farrar & Ball attorney Mark Bankston, Brody’s legal counsel, wrote in an X post that Brody and his family were doxxed as a result of the conspiracy theory Musk promoted on his site, and had to flee their home during “weeks of terror.” Brody, he wrote, has a reputation now “catastrophically damaged” by the wealthiest man on the planet and has suffered mental anguish “at the crucial moment when he exits college and enters his career path.”
Despite his lawyers being informed of Brody’s defamation claim in August, Bankston has said that Musk declined to either retract his unfounded accusation or apologize for it.
Sources – James Harden, seeking trade, not at 76ers media day
CAMDEN, N.J. — It took nearly four minutes Monday morning for Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey to say James Harden‘s name. But, after rattling off the names of several other players and speaking confidently about the team’s chances to contend this season, Morey turned to the matter of Harden’s absence from media day.
“I want to address James Harden,” Morey said, sitting on a dais next to coach Nick Nurse, both wearing matching blue blazers to kick off the interviews. “He’s not here today. He continues to seek a trade, and we’re working with his representation to resolve that in the best way for the 76ers and, hopefully, all parties.”
Harden’s decision not to come Monday was the latest push in a summer full of them to fulfill his desire to be dealt to the LA Clippers. But although the two teams have talked recently, there’s been no traction on a deal, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Sixers’ asking price remains high, and the Clippers don’t seem inclined to bid against themselves in a marketplace that is cool to unloading significant trade assets for Harden, sources told Wojnarowski.
As a result, Harden is still a member of the 76ers — and the franchise clearly would love for him to return and help in what the 76ers still believe is a group good enough to compete for a championship, even in the wake of the moves the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics made to get Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday, respectively, over the past few days.
“Who said they surpassed us?” reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid responded to a reporter. “We still gotta go out there and compete. You can do whatever you want off the court, but you still gotta go out there and put the ball in the hoop.
“I believe that any team that I’m on, we always gonna have a chance. Just need to be a little bit lucky. Just need to stay healthy — be healthy and stay healthy — and, you know, as a team, just come together.”
Harden exercised his $35.6 million contract option for the season in June with hopes of the Sixers trading him before camp, but Morey has shown a willingness to wait out Harden and try to get him reinvested in the team.
To that end, the message over and over again from the 76ers was that they hope they can get Harden to come back and take part alongside them. Harden on Friday was paid the 25% of his contract that he was scheduled to receive by Sunday, sources said, after already having received the 25% payment he was scheduled to receive on July 1.
It remains unclear when, or if, Harden is going to rejoin the team, which is flying to Fort Collins on Monday afternoon before holding training camp at Colorado State University for the next several days.
Morey, when asked if Harden would be fined for missing Monday, said the team would “treat James like every other player on the roster as required by the CBA.”
In a call with league and union officials during the NBA’s investigation into the comments, Harden insisted he would be fulfilling his contractual obligations with the Sixers should he remain without a trade, sources said.
Morey, who has previously had a close relationship with Harden going back to when he acquired him as the general manage of the Houston Rockets from the Oklahoma City Thunder just before the start of the 2012-13 NBA season, admitted this summer was difficult for him given how it’s all played out in the public sphere.
“I would say it was hard,” Morey said. “I think there are many people who worked with him for some time, but I’ve been right there with anyone else.
“Look, I think he’s a heck of a basketball player. I like him as a person. It was hard, I think, that he felt like that was the right course of action for him at that point. What else can I say? I think he’s a tremendous player that will help us if he chooses to be here. And, right now, that’s not where he wants to be.”
Morey did, however, push back on Harden’s assertion that he is a liar.
“I don’t think I have to interpret it,” Morey said. “He said what he meant. I think that was well reported on.
“I haven’t responded to that because I think it falls flat on its face. In 20 years of working in the league, always followed through on everything. Every top agent knows that. Everyone in the league knows. You can’t operate in this job without that. So, you know, privately I’ve appreciated all the key people in the league reaching out to me and knowing obviously that’s not true. But like I said before, obviously it was disappointing that he chose to handle it that way.”
Now, Philadelphia begins preparations for training camp — its first under Nurse, who replaced Doc Rivers earlier this summer — unsure of when — or if — its star point guard will join them. To that end, Nurse said he and the team will be preparing for both possibilities and will address them as things unfold.
“For me, it’s, it’s obviously we’ve kind of got Plan A, Plan B, right? We’ve gotta get the team ready regardless. We’re expecting him to show up.
“He shows up? We go. If he doesn’t? We go. There’s two ways to look at it. And we proceed and we really get to work in building our foundation of what we want to do, getting all our principles in, all the things that we want to do, and play the style of play we want to play regardless.”
Perhaps the best summation of the situation, however, came from Harden’s longtime friend and teammate P.J. Tucker, who was asked whether he thought Harden would be back anytime soon.
“That ain’t for me to answer,” Tucker said with a laugh and a shake of his head. “I have no idea.
“I hope they figure it out soon. But if not, it’s gonna be what it’s gonna be.”
James Harden skips 76ers media day to take trade demand to next level – SB Nation
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