So we all know that an agency tracing desk is a place where agencies centralize their programmatic buying, right? Well, not according to the CEO of Xaxis, WPP's programmatic media operation.
According to Xaxis CEO Brian Lesser
, “We are not a trading desk. A trading desk is a service an
agency provides that is disclosed and acts as a filter for all programmatic media. If I’m an advertiser, and I spend $10 million in programmatic, I would rely on a trading desk to advise me on
that $10 million, like what DSP to use, inventory, and data services.”
Lesser argues that Xaxis is really a full-fledged media company, adding: “We invest more in technology
than any other agency, so when we are compared to Publicis’ AoD, that’s like apples to oranges. That’s a trade desk, they have no internal tech, they rely solely on third-party tech.
They are happy to surface the cost of their inventory because they don’t trade the way we do. I think as a result, they don’t provide nearly as much as we do.”
we'll start calling trading desks media departments. Oh, wait.