Media agency execs flag concerns after major trading platform BCC AdSystems sells to rival

BCCSenior Australian media agency executives have expressed concerns after a major trading platform which handles more than $8bn in bookings each year was bought out by a rival.

Last week the BCC Adsystems transactional platform was bought by its rival Mediaocean, leading numerous senior agency executives at some of Australia’s biggest holding companies to raise questions over the future of the system, and its viability for them.

“The concern is more around the tech,” said one media agency boss, who declined to be named. “People generally agree that BCC can be difficult and challenging to work with but its systems are built into most Australian agencies; this is what we transact on. It is really unclear what impact this will have.” The ability to integrate with BCC is seen as pivotal to how agencies operate. “Lots of people have spent a lot of money building systems to integrate with BCC,” said an agency trading director. “This has the potential to create big problems.”

However another executive argued that BCC has a reputation for not being collaborative: “A lot of us aren’t that familiar with Mediaocean but frankly I’d be very open to anyone who can collaborate more than the current regime.”

Bob Burns, CEO of BCC, disputes claims the system is not seen as collaborative and argues his clients always want more.

“In Australia the focus of BCC has been on programmatic on all our systems all the way through to post analysis,” Burns told Mumbrella. “The focus on digital has been increasing and the merger will allow us to scale and grow the business in a way that wasn’t possible.

“This deal makes it easier to collaborate and invest more in collaboration,” he continued.

“The investment by Mediaocean means we can invest, APIs (which allow open access) is an expensive exercise and I think we have been effective but our clients would always like us to do more and this allows us to do more, more quickly.”

Bill Wise: "The acquisition will allow us to invest."

Bill Wise: “We want to make a consistent platform globally and the piece we were missing was the Asia Pacific and Australia.”

Bill Wise, CEO of Mediaocean, said it was priority for the company to visit its Australian clients and to reassure them about what the acquisition would mean.

“Bob and I have started making the rounds,” said Wise. “This merger and acquisition has a number of objectives: we want to make a consistent platform globally and the piece we were missing was the Asia Pacific and Australia.

“There is an increasing need for programmatic solutions. The level of spend going through programmatically is increasing at a pace that no one really predicted. We feel like this merger/acquisition can accelerate our efforts there.

“We believe there is so much fragmentation and disparate adtech solutions that there needs to be a common currency and we believe that common currency needs to be open and neutral, and we hope the combination of Mediaocean and BCC will actually create that globally.”

Nic Christensen 


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