Conflict of Interest Over Agency-Owned DSPs, Trading Desks?

LOS ANGELES -- Is there confusion when media planners and buyers are trying to sell you media -- especially through agency-owned demand-side platforms or trading desks? Worse, is there a conflict of interest?

Hopefully not -- when these business units can offer true independent opinion and guidance.

On an OMMA Ad Net event panel here called "Conflict? What Conflict? The Trading Desk Dilemma," panelists were in disagreement concerning the issue of trading desks at agencies -- those that are so-called "independent."

Zach Coelius, chief executive officer of Triggit, an independent demand-side selling advertising platform, says there is confusion at the CMO level -- and at the junior media planner/buyer level -- when it comes to these new media agency business. And that's not good news. Not only that, but he says there is a conflict of interest when media agencies own their own "selling" digital services -- like demand-side platforms.

Mac Delaney, vice president of brand relations for audience on demand at VivaKi, says this isn't the case at his agency -- that in fact, a DSP or a trading desk can have an "independent" viewpoint. He adds that operating a DSP and a trading desk cost money, and clients recognize that.

Says Greg Koerner, chief marketing officer, MediaBank, which also operates a DSP: "If it's transparent between a client and agency, then there is no conflict."



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