Publicis moves programmatic ad buying from VivaKi into media agencies | M&M Global

Publicis moves programmatic ad buying from VivaKi into media agencies

Publicis Groupe has revealed its programmatic arm VivaKi will no longer buy ads, with all programmatic buying to take place within its agencies Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) and ZenithOptimedia.


According to reports, 120 employees will move from VivaKi into SMG and ZenithOptimedia, to help bring programmatic expertise “closer to the business”.

The aim is to help agencies to “more fluidly” incorporate programmatic into strategic media plans for clients, rather than keeping it one step removed within the trading desk, and to enhance programmatic “skill-sets” within the agencies.

VivaKi will become an ad tech centre of excellence for the wider group, focusing on research and development, analytics and training.

A spokesperson insisted “VivaKi will continue”, serving as a “hub-and-node” to help share and a tivate solutions that its architects and engineers develops: “We are taking programmatic planning and activation services closer to the media planning process, where programmatic expertise belongs.

“Our media agencies have more programmatic capacity than ever before, and will be equipped like never before to marry online/offline intelligence to optimise consumer engagement plans across all screens and touch points.”

SMG chief executive Laura Desmond told Ad Age: “If you’re a marketer, do you want your programmatic decisions siloed and balkanised from everything else that you’re doing? No, you want it integrated.”

Agency groups have come under increasing pressure over the alleged lack of transparency relating to the fees charged by trading desks.

Commenting in M&M Global’s International Media 2015 annual guide, The Exchange Lab chief executive James Aitken said: “The biggest concern [for the future of programmatic] is it not being transparent for clients. Agency trading desks are big culprits in this matter.”

In the same publication, Dataxu co-founder Mike Baker argued that agencies are in a great position to expand their role into being an “expert service layer”, rather than simply being a platform operator.

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