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On The DoubleClick Ad Exchange: Kurt Unkel, VivaKi

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VivaKiKurt Unkel is Senior Vice President of Publicis’ VivaKi Nerve Center.

KU: I think volume of impressions and the real-time api of Google’s new exchange are the biggest benefits, as these address the scalability and operational challenges of the original Ad Exchange. These new benefits combined with the quality of participants and simplified billing, key benefits of the original for Vivaki, definitely push Google into a leadership position in the space.

Regarding concerns, the biggest challenge for any exchange is driving adoption. It’s not always as simple as “if you build it, they will come”. The exchange represents a rather significant shift in how we typically transact, so adjusting to that for both buyer & seller takes some time.

We meet with a very broad range of publishers in support of our Audience on Demand product, which is one of our accelerates for adjusting to this new marketplace. A consistent theme we hear are concerns about cannibalization / sales channel conflicts. By releasing inventory to exchanges, some publishers fear their direct sales channels will be negatively impacted, and reservation CPMs will decline.

We don’t believe this will be the case. The diverse set of buying teams within Vivaki have consistently found great value in the large scale, idea-centric partnerships they create with individual publishers as a part of their brand-building client initiatives. Those strategies aren’t going away any time soon.

Instead, we believe overall digital dollars will continue to increase as audience-centric and performance-based media buys become larger pillars of the media plan. Google’s exchange will be key to growing that pie, as these platforms allow us to add insights to impressions in a fashion that scales for both sides. And by doing this, we are able to shift the conversation from “how much does this cost” to “how much value does this create”, which is a win/win for all sides.

I think Michael Zimbalist shares a great perspective from the Supply side that aligns with this thinking, and we hope to continue this dialogue with Publishers and see adoption of Google’s new ad exchange continue to grow.

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