Sizmek Adds Safety To Its Stack, Integrates Peer39 Data Into StrikeAd

MobextPeer39Mobext, the mobile arm of Havas Media Group, is hoping to get away from using pain-in-the-neck manual whitelists and blacklists to manage brand safety and contextual placements.

Consequently, it’s been testing the fruits of an integration – revealed Wednesday – between Peer39, the brand safety and online semantic platform Sizmek bought in 2012, and StrikeAd, the mobile DSP Sizmek bought for a song just around this time last year.

The integration brings contextual pre-bid data previously available through Peer39 on desktop to programmatic buys on the mobile web and in apps – which are two very different environments despite often being lumped together under the same umbrella, said Mike Caprio, global VP and GM of programmatic at Sizmek.

“On the mobile web we can essentially read the page like we would do on desktop, but apps are in little walled gardens, so our framework there is to build around the app stores themselves,” Caprio said.

Clients like Mobext use the Peer39 data set within StrikeAd to create media plans that include or exclude apps based on a variety of classification criteria that it pulls from the App Store and Google Play like rating, age appropriateness, category, developer and language, layered on top of other mobile-specific targeting parameters like location.

StrikeAd also automatically excludes the roughly 10% of apps across the ecosystem that aren’t certified by either the App Store or Google Play.

“Removing the uncertified apps that have been shut down by one of the stores for whatever reason is the first line of defense in fraud protection,” Caprio said. “It’s a good way to turn on the light and quickly see a lot of stuff you probably don’t want scurry away into a corner.”

Mobext has been using the Peer39 data to make contextual buys for a number of clients, including Hyundai, Emirates Air and H&M.

It’s against Emirates policy, for example, for its ads to show up near content related to alcohol. And when H&M advertises in Switzerland – a country with three different official spoken languages (French, Italian and German) – Mobext needs to make sure campaigns are delivered in the right vernacular.

It’s a bit like creating a private marketplace of sorts on the fly without choosing specific publishers from the get-go.

“We use it for brands that want to leverage programmatic and audience planning without being linked to specific publishers,” said Marco Rigon, global head of Mobext. “It make sense to be able to address audiences wherever they are – just because I’m a businessperson, for example, doesn’t mean I’m not playing ‘Candy Crush’ – but brands also don’t want to be be completely out of control.”

Which is a common misconception about programmatic, Rigon said – that safety goes out the window on the open exchange.

“Mobile is still consolidating, so we need to be very cautious about where we place ads,” Rigon said. “But we’re also trying to help brands understand that going programmatic doesn’t mean you’re forgetting about the need to be in precise, pure and targeted environments.”

The integration of StrikeAd into Sizmek’s overall stack is slated to be complete by early June.

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