Third-party facilitators offer more accountability: ad networks at ad:tech New York

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A panel of six ad network representatives on Nov. 6 discussed the benefits of the network model in today's new media world at ad:tech New York.

The consensus was that a third-party facilitator allowed for more accountability and safety for advertisers, greater publisher value for impressions due to aggregated reach and simplified in-house media purchasing across channels.

"It's extremely rare that that one publisher or one advertiser will put all their eggs in one basket," said David A. Yovanno, general manager of ValueClick Media.

The issue of brand safety and publisher reliability took center stage at the panel.

Roni Jenkins, east coast director of digital media at Prometheus, said a client's ad had mistakenly been run on a porn Web site. She said that full-disclosure from a publisher was critical.

"Daisy-chaining" or partnering with several other networks to move leftover inventory, may increase a network's chances of placing an ad on a poorly matched site.

That said, despite safeguards, no network offered the perfect solution.

"There's absolutely no network that can say [inopportune ad serving] hasn't happened to us," said Dave Morgan, founder and chairman of Tacoda.

Meanwhile, Adify Corp. on Nov. 6 unveiled its Build Your Own Network platform at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco.

The tool provides the infrastructure and tools to create vertical niche advertising networks, allowing builders to define, assemble, merchandize and manage targeted advertising networks that fit the specific needs of themselves or third-party clients.

"There are millions of small sites out there that advertisers are interested in advertising on," said Larry Braitman, cofounder and CEO of Adify. "We think that the Long Tail is really made up of clusters of really interesting, highly relevant vertical content."

The Adify announcement comes in the wake of what could be called a rebirth of traditional ad networks.

Tools on the Adify system include campaign management, performance tracking, reporting, billing, payment and technical support.

Adify's platform has clients including Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, which launched Sponsored Blogroll, a network that matches bloggers with advertisers; Ready to Rare, which aims to connect advertisers to the estimated six million players of "Magic the Gathering"; VFW Webcom, a network of more than 9,500 Veterans of Foreign War outpost Web sites now available to advertisers; and Top Dog Ad Network, a niche focused on dog lovers, veterinarians, breeders and other pet professionals.

"For direct marketers to get thousands of these aggregated niche vertical markets are really the equivalent of a targeted list," Mr. Braitman said.

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