Fairfax to boycott agency DSPs

By By David Blight | 1 July 2011
Fairfax Metro Media chief executive, Jack Matthews.

EXCLUSIVE: Fairfax Metro Media chief executive Jack Matthews has said that the company will not commit online advertising inventory to new demand side platforms being launched by media agencies, as tension mounts between publishers and agencies.

In recent months, there has been a rush from media buying firms such as GroupM and Vivaki to build their own demand side platforms (DSPs) – trading desks for cheap or remnant online inventory.

The move has seen media agencies pressuring online publishers into committing exclusive inventory to agency DSPs, which they can auction to their clients in a real-time bidding environment.

Matthews said: “We have taken a different view about monetising our inventory than most publishers. We don’t want people to access our audience at a yield that isn’t appropriate."

“We want to control access to our audience because we think we have a uniquely valuable audience across our platforms. We are happy to let other publishers drive their yield down.”

GroupM’s chief digital officer Danny Bass, who this week launched DSP Xaxis in Australia said: “If a publisher has its own network, we expect the opportunity to be able to bid for that inventory. Any media owner with a large amount of inventory needs to be involved with one or more DSPs.”

Matthews was speaking at a recent Fourth Estate Domain forum in Sydney.

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