Essence Responds To Ad Tech With Appointment Of First Director Of Programmatic

In a move that is indicative of the larger trend of agencies arming up for programmatic, digital ad agency Essence recently announced the appointment of Oscar Garza to director of programmatic and audience, North America.

It’s a new position at the company, and Garza will be responsible for making sure the agency’s clients are using the right vendors for programmatic buys. Some argue that ad tech requires agencies to hire different, not fewer, employees, which is exactly what Essence did here.

"We expect to spend over $300MM in programmatic over the next year,” stated Christian Juhl, CEO of Essence, North America.

That figure doesn’t tell us what portion of Essence’s total budget will be spent on programmatic, and an Essence representative was not immediately reachable for comment. However, one can surmise that $300 million is the most the agency has ever spent on automation. (It’s enough, at least, to make Essence feel the need to hire a programmatic specialist.)

Agencies being impacted by the rise of ad tech is not new news, but it is intriguing to see how agencies are reacting. In the case of Essence, they brought a programmatic expert in-house to make sure they were using the right technologies. Smart move -- you’ve seen the display LUMAscape.

I would guess the appointment was also a power play on Essence’s part, with the agency looking to show some assertiveness and regain control over tech providers when it came to programmatic buying. But that’s just speculation.

Garza joins from Electronic Arts, where he served as director of acquisition. In that role, Garza helped develop EA’s programmatic audience targeting software.

Next story loading loading..