Fairfax mulls removing ad inventory from third party exchanges, reveals boss Chris Janz

Fairfax Media is investigating moving away from third party ad exchanges to give it greater control of its inventory, the boss of the publisher’s metro division Chris Janz has revealed.

The move comes as publishers around the world become increasingly concerned that ad exchanges – including well known ones – are purporting to sell ads on their sites which are actually running on faked domains. As a result, all of the revenue goes to the criminal sites, rather than the publisher, while the brand’s ads do not appear where they think they will.

Last month an investigation by the Financial Times into its own inventory uncovered 15 different ad exchanges offering video ads on despite the fact that it does not even sell the inventory programatically.

Speaking at Mumbrella’s Publish conference, Janz told a panel on the issue of media trust that there were problems in the ecosystem.

“Have we actually allowed ourselves to be traded in ways that aren’t in the interests of our customers and audiences?” Janz asked. “It is certainly something that we’re dealing with at Fairfax.”

Janz, left, and Allen: They’ve all been wrong and they’ve all been corrupted’

Janz continued: “Publishers themselves allowed themselves to be traded away through aggregators and their advertising partners, and the only way you can be assured that you’re actually receiving the right eyeball at the right time in the right context is dealing directly with the publishers themselves.”

Asked whether this might mean Fairfax exclusively selling its own inventory, Janz replied: “That is something all publishers, including ourselves, need to look at.”

Fairfax currently sells its own ad inventory through its APEX exchange which is a joint venture with Nine Entertainment Co.

Session moderator Tim Burrowes, from Mumbrella, clarified: “”So that could mean you might become unavailable on exchanges that you’re currently available on at the moment?”

“One hundred percent,” replied Janz.

Janz’s views were endorsed by media analyst Steve Allen, principal of Fusion Strategy, who answered simply with the word ‘no’ when asked if he trusted the programmatic supply chain.

“For the quality mastheads who care about quality journalism and care about the content they should absolutely control their inventory,” said Allen.

“There are so many steps in this and they’ve all been wrong and they’ve all been corrupted,” Allen concluded.


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