Facebook’s Atlas is mapping a course for cross-device world domination – one agency holding company relationship at a time.
In a move reminiscent of its partnership with Omnicom, Atlas unveiled Wednesday a three-year global hook-up with Havas Media Group. Omnicom was an Atlas launch partner back in September when the rebooted ad server rose from Microsoft’s ashes with much fanfair. Atlas is already in the process of migrating certain Havas clients over to the Atlas platform.
Atlas, designed to transcend cookies by leveraging Facebook users who are logged in across devices, will hook into Artemis, Havas’s proprietary data management and analytics platform.
Although all Havas clients can access Atlas, the partnership is not exclusive, meaning they’ll be able to continue using other ad-serving products like Google’s DFP or Open AdStream from AppNexus. According to Facebook, “Havas is welcome to continue working with the partners of their choice to make sure they get the best outcomes for their clients.”
The setup is similar to what Atlas has going on with Omnicom, whose digital CEO Jonathan Nelson told AdExchanger in a previous interview that while the agency might make recommendations to its advertisers, “the decision about what ad server to use will be client by client.”
A Facebook source declined to disclose how many individual advertiser or agency clients Atlas has so far, but did say that Atlas positions itself more as an enterprise solution for advertisers via agencies, rather than forming its own direct relationships with advertisers.
The Havas deal will expand Atlas’s reach in the US and Western Europe in the short-term, with Latin America, the Middle East and APAC on the agenda for Q2, Q3 and Q4 2015, respectively.
Employing Facebook’s now familiar "people-based marketing" parlance, Atlas chief Erik Johnson noted in a blog post that “the geographical focus and depth of potential client absorption makes this partnership significant for the industry.”
You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours – Havas gets more visibility into how people are interacting with brands and making purchases across devices, and Atlas gains entry into Havas’s global client base.
In other Atlas news, the platform is on a serious hiring spree. A perusal of Facebook’s job site suggests that Atlas is looking to fill more than 20 posts in the short-term, including for optimization specialists, measurement experts, client partners and product marketing managers, as well as for a head of sales ops and a head of holding group sales.