Omnicom Opts Against Building In-House DSP

  |  June 10, 2010   |  Comments

While WPP develops audience-buying tools, Omnicom CFO says the marketing services firm will work with third-party vendors instead.

As rivals build ad optimization capabilities, Omnicom Chief Financial Officer Randall Weisenburger explained why the marketing services company is opting to take another approach.

Omnicom will work with third-party vendors for so-called ad optimization services, instead of building capabilities in-house.

"We don't view ourselves as a technology platform developer," Weisenburger said in response to a question at BMO Capital Markets' Advertising and Marketing Services Conference in New York. "Technologies are changing at a fast rate. We don't want to invest a lot of our capital developing proprietary technology for clients that other people are developing."

Weisenburger did not disclose the names of vendors that Omnicom is working with for ad optimization, also known as media buying optimization. Vendors offering these services, including demand-side platforms, use audience data and other information to target online display advertisements using real-time bidding.

Several of Omnicom's rivals have developed technology in-house. The most pronounced example is WPP's Media Innovation Group, which has developed its own audience-buying platform called B3.

However, other holding company trading desks, including Vivaki Nerve Center and Razorfish's Atom Systems, are working with third parties to varying degrees. Vivaki and Razorfish are both part of Publicis.

One challenge with offering such services in-house, Weisenburger said, is that some clients might question an agency's bias for recommending an in-house service over a third-party's service. "They start questioning whether it's best or because [the agency] owns it," he said.

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Anna Maria Virzi, ClickZ's executive editor from 2007 until 2012, covered Internet business and technology since 1996. She was on the launch team for Ziff Davis Media's Baseline and also worked at Forbes.com, Web Week, Internet World, and the Connecticut Post.

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