Ask the Board – March 7, 2016 | PHIL LENGER


In your opinion, is Programmatic Advertising a good thing for DOOH? If so why? If not, why not?

In principle, Programmatic Buying seems like a pretty good deal – the network owner gets dollars for time that may have been unused on the displays. It’s very important that network owners make money on their networks.
However, when media time becomes discounted, typically the quality of the ads goes down as well. In TV, that’s why you start to see mundane ads for Medicare insurance or questionable personal injury lawyers (1-800-sue-ur-mom). The appearance of these ads is usually the result of package media buys across various networks. To the viewer, the channel takes on a lower value and that perception affects the other program content as well. Everything starts to look ‘cheap.’
Additionally, once the bar is lowered for quality, it becomes harder to interest premium brands to participate in that channel. There is a cost to ‘compromising’ the program in this way.
So while on paper, there’s nothing wrong with programmatic ad sales, the owner needs to be mindful of what is happening to the quality of the content stream and make holistic decisions about what is happening to the perceived network value.

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