Virginia Hyland has launched an independent agency that specialises in transparent programmatic media buying and planning.
The agency, called Programmatic Media, will sit outside of the Hyland Group and plans to offer advertisers full visibility of inventory costs, technology add-ons and the mark-up applied by the agency.
The agency will be headed by Hyland with support from former TrinityP3 business director Stephen Wright. It will have six staff at launch with plans to grow the headcount.
Foundation clients include Coty, Lilydale, Steggles, Calvin Klein, Olympus, Rimmel, Pet Insurance, Queensland Theatre Company, Museum of Contemporary Art, Natuzzi Spa, Essential Energy and Thomas Sabo.
Hyland says Programmatic Media won’t be locked into a particular technology or buying desk, and aims to provide flexibility to find the best deal for a client’s need.
“We will need to be profitable but not behind the backs of our clients, at their expense and to the detriment of their business.” Hyland says.
Programmatic Media will also aim to train and educate advertisers about programmatic trading and how to use customer data to full effect.
The agency launches at a time when media agency transparency has been called into question after an ANA study found evidence of non-transparent practices while a recent misreporting scandal has rocked Japan's largest media agency Dentsu.
Programmatic trading is often held up as an example of a non-transparent media buying practice. Media agencies usually offer clients a guaranteed fixed price on programmatically-traded inventory and retain the margin between the agreed price and the achieved cost without disclosing this margin.
Agency holding groups leverage their considerable scale to buy inventory en masse at a heavily reduced price and margins can be in excess of 30%, leading some critics to claim that agencies are not acting in the best interests of clients.
Programmatic Media aims to provide an alternative and has pledged to guarantee the best rates in market as well as full verification of the inventory from third-party auditor Integral Ad Science.
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