TrustX GM and President David Kohl was sitting in the front row with a big smile on his face when P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard laid into the digital supply chain at the IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting last month.
For the past year, Kohl has been working on a project housed within Digital Context Next to bring premium publishers together into a programmatic cooperative.
Think of it as the love child between a joint business venture and a private marketplace.
So far, 31 publishers, including The Washington Post, CBS Interactive, Hearst, Purch, NBCUniversal and Vox, have signed on to make their inventory available with a human-viewable guarantee. The underlying tech was built by Iponweb, and Moat is providing the measurement and verification.
TrustX is in its alpha phase with a limited number of publishers testing the pipes against unpaid demand to make sure the plumbing works with desktop and mobile display. Beta will kick off by the end of the quarter, likely March, with somewhere between 100 million to 200 million impressions a month and with plans to ramp that up to about 1 billion impression.
The beta is slated to run until the end of July or early August, at which time it will probably also open to video and in-app inventory.
When it comes to transparency, RTB isn’t the problem. Rather, the problem is the sprawling complexity of the digital advertising ecosystem.
“For most problems, the answer in the ad tech ecosystem has typically been to throw a new piece of technology at the problem, layering technology on top of technology rather than trying to create a well-lit environment,” said Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next.
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