esurance CMO Alan Gellman was brutally candid with me today about the state of ad tech and the programmatic ecosystem.
“Don’t pretend to be transparent,” he warns. Gellman should know. As he told me this morning, eSurance is not relying on trading desks or third party software to manage their programmatic buys. It is al being built in house and tied to their internal DMP of their own design.
He believes that the programmatic ecosystem is still playing a shell game with real costs and margins.
“They will go ‘blah, blah,’ about transparency and give you a bundled CPM and not break it down,” he says.
He says he has gone to many ad tech partners and asked if they can commit to a contract and agree to be audited. No one has taken him up on it yet.
“They don’t [even] want to have transparency on the topic of transparency,” he adds.
He gives the ad tech sector fair warning. As more brands get savvier about the technology, the real nature of the corsts and margins, they won’t want to deal with the third parties and trading desks either.