Havas Inks Deal With AOL To Use New Programmatic Platform

Affiperf, the global trading desk of Havas, on Monday announced it has partnered with AOL and will use AOL’s forthcoming “ONE” platform for programmatic buying. Havas is the first media group to sign on with ONE, an amalgamation of AOL's tech stack first announced in March.

ONE is expected to launch in 2015 and includes technology from video ad platform Adap.tv, mobile and display platforms AOP and AOL Marketplace, attribution modeling tech from Convertro and creative tools from Pictela.

“Operating through niche offerings and specialized services is not sustainable for our industry,” asserted Toby Gabriner, CEO of Adap.tv and ONE, in an earlier statement.

Havas is no stranger to AOL’s programatic technology, having used Adap.tv, AOP and Marketplace before. In fact, Havas has been partners with Adap.tv since before it was acquired by AOL, and video is the main focus of its extended partnership with AOL via ONE.

Adap.tv will be Havas’ video ad buying platform of choice, said Lawrence Taylor, head of programmatic at Havas, though he told Real-Time Daily that it’s not an exclusive partnership. Taylor said the short-term goal is to get most of Havas’ video advertisers using Adap.tv (though ONE).

Longer term, Havas anticipates a surge in audience-buying on linear TV, which the Adap.tv platform supports. Taylor said Havas wanted to be able to “expand into linear TV.”

“That’s where the strongest benefit is, and where programmatic will align in upcoming years,” Taylor said. “We want to make sure those markets are equipped.”

Ultimately, Taylor said Affiperf and Havas are tapping into AOL’s new platform to simplify audience-buying across channels. “What really counts is the audience and ability to tie single audiences across devices,” Taylor said. “That’s where we see the strongest benefits from ONE -- to tie a multi-screen approach to single audiences.”

As a global trading desk, Taylor explained, Affiperf was looking for a tech provider that could scale from a technological standpoint as well as an inventory standpoint. He said that key countries (outside of the U.S.) that Affiperf will use the ONE platform in include France, UK, Italy, Spain and Germany in Europe; Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Chile in Latin America; and “all over” the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia and Singapore.

“Where we still need to make sure our solution is bulletproof is China and Korea,” Taylor acknowledged, “because those are very specific markets where inventory sources and tracking systems are a bit different. What is adaptable in many countries cannot just be copy and pasted in China and Korea.”

The partnership is representative of three main trends in advertising: programmatic (and its international adoption), video advertising and a shift to audience-buying.

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