Commentary

Instead Of Taking Ad Tech In-House, Lenovo Is Giving Ultimatums

Unlike other large brands that have taken programmatic ad technologies in-house in a bid to have more control over their automated campaigns, Lenovo is asserting its authority in its own way.

The personal computer company on Tuesday announced it has partnered with Integral Ad Science, an ad quality and media measurement firm. Lenovo will require each media agency it works with to use Integral’s tech.

Lenovo is no stranger to giving its media agency partners ultimatums when it comes to using third-party platforms and measurement providers. For example, two years ago Lenovo partnered with programmatic video ad tech firm TubeMogul and told its media agencies to only use TubeMogul’s software when buying video ads on Lenovo’s behalf.

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These types of “exclusive” deals are not groundbreaking, but it’s telling that two of Lenovo’s recent ad tech partnerships came with a requirement clause for its agency partners. It’s not taking programmatic technologies in-house, but it’s the next best thing.

It’s also not all that surprising to see Lenovo stand on a mountain and sing about its partnership with Integral -- a firm that’s all about ad quality and brand safety -- considering Lenovo is just months removed from shipping notebooks with “horrifically dangerous” adware pre-installed.

Lenovo claims that during tests with Integral, it saw viewability rates on its ads rise threefold, and Gary Milner, director of global digital marketing at Lenovo, stated that they are “already [seeing] an increased return on investment” as a result of the partnership.

And -- to be clear, this is conjecture -- it’s possible we’ll see more brands do what Lenovo has done: Choose ad tech partners and tell their agencies to use them.

All of the ingredients required for this to happen are there. Trust between brands and agencies remains withered, but despite this, programmatic ad spend is expected to continue to rapidly rise; the agency rebate debate is forging ahead, with an ANA-led study into the practices of media-buying on the horizon; and taking ad tech in-house has proven easier said than done.

1 comment about "Instead Of Taking Ad Tech In-House, Lenovo Is Giving Ultimatums".
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  1. Seth Ulinski from TBR, July 8, 2015 at 12:11 p.m.

    Because services and platforms are so tightly interwoven in the world of digital advertising, it has caused a lot of the transparency and trust issues to date. This move de-bundles the two, I anticipate we'll see more agreements like this as brands seek greater control and visibility (not to be confused with viewability).

    The enterprise IT world uses the terms outsourcing vs. insourcing ("in-house").  Another model could be on-site managed services -- whereby the agency or vendor performs work at the client's facility.  Not a stretch to see programmatic advertising offered as part of marketing business process outsourcing (BPO), which is in the wheelhouse of IT services players like Accenture.

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