Keeping programmatic in-house vs. using an agency

Another discussion point making headlines that is likely to stay in the limelight concerns whether brands should keep their programmatic buying in-house or work with  an agency/trading desk.  Many global brands have made announcements that they’re opting for the in-house model, including Unilever and P&G. Whether this is the best model for every brand remains to be seen.

To help understand this topic and offer recommendations, AdExchanger created a new research report, “How to Pick the Right Programmatic Media Management Model.” The report suggests that there are more than a handful of reasons why brands are questioning the role of agencies and opting to bring this function in-house. Key issues include the lack of transparency around pricing from the agency, data ownership concerns, the emergence of self-serve platforms, the availability of independent trading desks, agency staffing concerns, the rise of self-service buying tools and in-house pressures.

But agencies still contend that they bring a tremendous amount of expertise and value. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell said he believes this trend is a temporary phenomenon. [Full disclosure: is part of Kantar Media, which is held by WPP.]

In 2015, we may begin to see the results of major brands keeping programmatic buys in-house and how agency trading desks evolve to combat this.

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