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GroupM Launches Supply Path Optimization Initiative In Asia Pacific Region

The initiative is the result of an immense effort to inject more transparency into the programmatic buying process.

Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels

GroupM today announced the launch of a supply path optimization project to give brands and advertisers across the Asia Pacific region more visibility into the programmatic supply chain.

A study by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) in May uncovered that up to 15 percent of UK advertising spend cannot be accounted for and a lack of standardization around data capture and storage. This window into programmatic operations brought up questions for the entire industry about how revenue is earned. Over a period of six months, GroupM gathered a significant amount of data into a single visualization tool. The process included onboarding the log level data from over 400 demand side platform (DSP) seats and consolidating it into a centralized warehouse to ensure data consistency.  

John Miskelly, APAC investment director, GroupM said, “We wanted to take a rigorous and focused approach to supply curation and apply it across all APAC markets. GroupM has led the way in this area, launching the Premium Supply Marketplace in China and working with select supply-side platforms (SSPs) in Australia since 2016. Now, we know every dollar that is spent across each market, DSP, and SSP down to the domain level.”  

GroupM has also developed a set of guiding principles for all markets to improve transparency through the creation of the supply path optimization tool. The number of SSPs included has been limited to those who agree to a code of conduct, only have direct integrations with publishers and never send inventory as unknown or obfuscated domains. SSPs also have to provide the log-level data for campaigns so that it can be matched against DSP data. GroupM also aims to become 100 percent ads/apps.txt compliant and support Open Measurement SDK as well as VAST 4.1 and higher. The group is also working with SSP partners PubMatic, SpotX, and Xandr, as well as local publishers in the region, to integrate header bidding into their programmatic setup.  

“By bringing all of our global buyer accounts onto the supply path optimization dashboard, we gained a clear view of the good and bad actors in the buying process and identified valuable partners to move forward with through careful due diligence,” said Prathab Kunasakaran, Head of Supply Strategy, APAC, Xaxis. The vetting process is applicable to SSP, ad networks, exchanges and publishers.

Very often the data between the buy and sell side are mismatch. “The supply path tool enables Xaxis to make decisions based on accurate, available data sets and matching metrics between the buyers and sellers. We have successfully increased media investments with approved partners by 75 percent month-over-month, boosted measurability by 10 percent and improved performance across video and display by 15 percent since the inception of SPO.”

Tara Young, Supply Lead, APAC, Mindshare said, “This supply path optimization initiative spearheaded by GroupM is a massive effort to bring back trust and deliver an unprecedented level of transparency to the programmatic supply chain. We can now dig deeper into supply sources to address the lack of transparency, brand safety, ad fraud, and an expanding list of intermediaries. This will not only create efficiency in the network, but pave the way for better inventories that lead to more effective campaigns.”

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Priority Consultants is a regional communications and digital firm with a focus on business to business technology and professional services. Founded and headquartered in Singapore since 1985, the territory covered by Priority Consultants embraces the world’s fastest-growing economies in 11 cities across Southeast Asia and India.

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