Agencies: RTB Vendors Don't Want Transparency

It’s no surprise that all in attendance for the OMMA RTB conference in Chicago, on Monday, are calling for greater procedural transparency. A little surprising, though, was one agency insider’s suggestion (accusation?) that programmatic tech vendors don’t really want to see greater transparency, because that will logically lead to greater accountability.

“It’s a little bit [like] people like it to be complex,” Tracey Paull, Senior Vice President and Director, Deliver, Starcom USA. Needless to say, agencies continue to demand transparency, but Paull likens the effort to a game of Whack-A-Mole.Wherever the agencies start to get “clarity” in one area, opacity rears its ugly head somewhere else in the system, she complains.

Spicing up the transparency debate, MediaPost Editor-in-Chief Joe Mandese asked the tough question about whether transparency should be a two-way street, meaning should agencies also transparently disclose what their margins are on RTB buys?

“I don’t make those decisions,” said Starcom's Paull, adding, “I’m not even privy to all that information.”

Not shutting the door completely, Paull said it was a “valid question that agencies are working through clients.”

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