Havas appears to have stolen a rather important march on its rivals with today’s launch of its Client Trading Solution (CTS) which it calls a client facing, fully transparent “control tower” displaying all programmatic trading, allowing clients to track and monitor their programmatic buying in one place.
Which is timely because a new report from the US Association of National Advertisers – “Programmatic: Seeing Through the Financial Fog” – is out this week, focusing on the widespread use of non-disclosed programmatic buying arrangements between marketers and agencies, knowledge gaps about how the programmatic ecosystem works and a lack of industry standards and protocols.
The report is expected to lay out an 11-step plan for improving accountability, largely focused on more disclosure and clarity in partnerships across the board.
Havas Group global MD Dominique Delport says: “When you consider that 75 per cent of marketers say that they are concerned by the level of transparency in programmatic, Client Trading Solution is a significant breakthrough. For the first time, we have an offer that gives clients full visibility and control.
“This innovative, platform gives brands full visibility on costs, investments, outcomes and ROI, across trading desks, DSPs, inventory, providers, marketplaces. Any advertiser using it can see exactly what’s behind all programmatic solutions, with complete transparency allowing us to work hand-in-hand with our clients to build the best strategies for their business.”
CTS was developed with MFG Labs. Product manager Raphael Mirat says: “CTS complements Havas Group’s programmatic offer. It really shines when clients want both power and control, as it gives them unprecedented flexibility to allocate budget across DSPs and trading desks, without sacrificing anything on supervision and reporting. For the first time, clients have all their trading operations and related data in a single platform, secure and efficient, built on a dedicated infrastructure.”
CTS has been welcomed by industry heavyweights including MediaMath and Goodle’s DoubleClick. So is it the answer to clients’ prayers?
Some rivals will say that Havas is too small (about a tenth of the size of WPP) for this to have much impact but Havas is in the process of being absorbed into Vincent Bollore’s Vivendi empire, which gives it substantially more firepower and, one would have thought, appeal. Whatever else it may be, CTS certainly looks like an effective new business tool.
It certainly throws down a challenge to its bigger rivals, as will the publication of the ANA’s eagerly-awaited report into programmatic buying “fog.”