Google Wins Omnicom Trading Desk Business; Publishers Watch

Omnicom and GoogleAccording to The Wall Street Journal’s Emily Steel, Google will announce on Thursday that Omnicom has entered into a non-exclusive partnership “to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy display ads for its clients through Google over the next two years (…) In return, Google will work with Omnicom to build a global ‘trading desk’ that allows the company to buy display ads more easily on Google’s ad exchange, an auction-like system that matches ad buyers and sellers to advertising space across large groups of websites.” Read more.

The ramifications of this agreement has many facets and echoes Publicis’ VivaKi’s expressed partnership with Google through Invite Media. This latest move would also appear to signal that certain demand-side platforms and ad networks whose revenues have depended on facilitating exchange buying for agency holding companies and their progeny may need to reconfigure their plans. At least some agencies are picking “the Google horse.”

It would also follow that major supply sources could be none-to-happy with the prospect of Google supercharging the demand-side. “Where is the supply-side solution?” they may ask. And importantly, can a supply-side solution that levels the playing the field between buyers and sellers exist through DoubleClick For Publishers?

Big media company types should be concerned. Sadly, many big media publishers will likely do nothing and start complaining about display in a few years as they do about search today. Sure, they can put up a paywall.. but that’s going to work for like… 5 web properties? Maybe?

Ultimately, Google is not the nemesis here – it’s cultural lethargy. Google is a capitalist engine of commerce for the Internet age and optimized for the future. Big media publishers are stuck in their legacy ways unaccustomed to dealing with rapidly innovating technology and business models and can only yelp, “I want my MTV of the 1980s.”

I bet you do. Have another martini -but use the gin in “the well.” You might as well optimize for your future.

With certain DSPs and ad networks looking for new (old?) jobs and smart publishers looking to level the playing field, new exchange-like partners may be created in short order.

By John Ebbert

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1 Comment

  1. Although we don’t know any details about this just yet, to me this feels very similar to what media agencies have been doing for years. Giving a premium publisher a commitment of annual ad spend would generally yield a better CPM, and maybe even some freebies here and there.

    From what I understand, Omnicom is not saying they will be buying inventory exclusively from Google — that just doesn’t make sense and would be difficult to justify to traditional media clients. They seem to be making a commitment and in return probably getting personalized tech (based on Invite?), better resources, better rates, etc.

    It’s pretty interesting to see Google doing what media companies do. Just a little differently.