Reaction: Brand Advertisers And Automation Driving Guranteed Sales asked ad industry executives: “What’s your take on Google announcing yesterday that it is now selling guaranteed ‘premium’ inventory from publishers on the Google Display Network?

Elizabeth Blair, CEO,

“My take is it is fantastic and about time.

Brand advertisers’ needs haven’t changed. Their requests for brand-focused online advertising technology and services haven’t changed. What may finally be changing: online advertising’s near-universal attempt to shoehorn brand spenders into DR focused products.

It is very interesting that Google is the first big player to step up. With Yahoo!, Microsoft and AOL’s 15 year head starts, shouldn’t Google be chasing them? And scrambling to keep up with the demands of the big agency holding companies? But children have been born and started kindergarten while Yahoo! has talked about What Apt Will Do Someday. Microsoft’s long, expensive and still nascent search catch up will be the same movie all over again in display if an investment in AppNexus is the sum total of its big bet. A few enterprise software titans are taking action in the DR arena, but as with Microsoft it’s going to be catch up and still lose the war to Google if they let it get a big head start in brand. So – while the others think a little, talk a little – the big ads announcements on Larry Page’s first earnings call were display ads in search and guaranteed not just auction-based advertising. Fellas, at least reread the transcript.

The agency holding companies face the biggest challenge of all. It isn’t (just) about “online” dollars anymore – it’s the catalyst to the end of the lucrative, traditional 30 second TV spot business. They have postponed facing this reality – and in several instances during that deferral have become heavily reliant on Google (!) for their display advertising infrastructure. Both are dangerous, and their tomorrow can’t be put off any longer.

Google’s announcement was bereft of specifics. Right now it’s aspiration, not reality. But the message is clear. Google is willing to change its DNA to conquer brand advertising.”

Barbary Brunner, Chief Digital Products Officer, MediaNews Group and

“We are becoming increasingly agnostic as to where our inventory can be accessed and ultimately believe that the best performing inventory, like, will command premiums in an RTB environment. Our goal always is to manage the channels and insure that the very best positions go to our recurring advertiser partners.”

Matt Greitzer, Co-Founder & COO, Accordant Media

“What took them so long? It’s kind of a no-brainer, and reinforces a trend toward automating the buy/sell process in digital media. But I’m not sure it changes much for advertisers and publishers at scale. I expect it will be more of a benefit for long tail publishers and self-service advertisers, the former who now get an upfront selling platform, and the latter who can now lock-in key, niche inventory.”

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