Starcom and ZenithOptimedia integrate programmatic trading desks

Two agencies say the decision to bring programmatic trading in-house is about providing greater transparency to clients

Programmatic trading capabilities at Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) and ZenithOptimedia have integrated and moved in-house in what the companies claim is a bid to provider greater transparency to clients.

Under the arrangement, each media buying agency will be able to negotiate commercial terms with clients that reflect their individual requirements, the companies said in a statement.

Programmatic services will also move upstream into the agencies, becoming closer to strategic planning processes as well as closer to client.

“We have always believed in delivering client relevant solutions that are in their best interests, and by bringing programmatic in-house, we can ensure we deliver on this,” said ZenithOptimedia CEO, Ian Perrin, in a statement.

“In an environment where many questions are being raised about the non-transparency of trading desks, we believe we need to be unequivocal in our position. This is a move clearly made to ensure we are focused on the requirements of our clients.”

Vivaki’s Audience on Demand suite will continue to provide technology, product development and data and analytics capabilities on behalf of both of the two companies.

“We believe that providing our clients with a more integrated and bespoke solution is pivotal in how we deliver experiences,” SMG Australia CEO, Chris Nolan, said.

“As programmatic continues to move into new channels, we believe this move allows us to be well placed to deliver personalisation across many more channels with speed.”

Last October, the two agencies' parent company, Publicis Groupe, acquired RUN, a real-time data management and multi-channel programmatic buying platform. At the time, the company stated the platform will be aligned with SMG and will be available as a resource to all networks of the Groupe, including ZenithOptimedia, DigitasLBi and Razorfish.

Specifically, it said VivaKi will leverage RUN's DMP and DSP technology for Publicis Groupe-wide solutions that further enhance the leadership of the Audience on Demand solution.

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