TrustX launches its private beta with top marketers, agencies and premium content publishers to rebuild trust and accountability in digital advertising
New York, NY—(June 15, 2017)—At a time when the digital advertising industry continues to be dogged with issues of trust, transparency and brand safety, Digital Content Next’s TrustX has quietly amassed a powerful alliance of advertisers, agencies and premium content publishers who have been trading since mid-May in the industry’s only purpose-driven, cooperative programmatic advertising marketplace. Specifically created to establish the benchmark for the sustainable future of trusted advertising, more than a dozen major agencies, representing hundreds of high-quality advertising brands, are now trading with the most hygienic programmatic digital inventory anywhere online.
“We’re live and testing with TrustX today,” said Jon Mansell, VP of Marketplace Innovation at MAGNA, whose team drives next-gen trading strategies across IPG’s agencies. “The entire industry has been talking about trust, transparency and brand safety for the past few years. TrustX has a unique approach, which gives us confidence that we’re only buying first-party inventory with full domain transparency, and that we’re transacting on viewability by default. We’re working with TrustX because it is imperative that we act quickly to put to rest antiquated business models, and start to restore trust in the digital ad supply chain.”
David Kohl, TrustX President and CEO, couldn’t agree more. “Opaque trading practices, high fraud rates and a general lack of accountability have given programmatic advertising a bad name. As promised, we’ve hit the reset button. TrustX is where the best in the business are actively collaborating to restore value and efficiency to programmatic trading – to rebuild the fundamentals for which it was originally designed.”
TrustX launched in September 2016 with more than 30 premium content publishers as its charter members. The marketplace is a collaboration platform where buyers and sellers work together to test and measure innovative ad monetization models, develop new desktop and mobile ad units, and focus on advertising that improves the consumer experience. In short, advertising traded through the TrustX marketplace will meet the highest standards for performance, quality, security and privacy.
“There is huge demand for this type of programmatic experience, and it’s demonstrated by the hundreds of great brands that are already trading with us through TrustX,” said Troy Young, President, Hearst Magazines Digital Media. “We’ve opened up our inventory to TrustX because we believe that by giving buyers a great product – with highly-engaged audiences in a totally safe environment – everyone wins.”
For Condé Nast, trust and transparency are equally non-negotiable. “This is a terrific step forward in driving accountability to all parts of the programmatic advertising ecosystem,” said Jim Norton, Chief Business Officer at Condé Nast. “There’s been a lot of great dialogue, and we see TrustX as the platform where the industry demonstrates how that dialogue actually plays out in practice.”
Hearst Digital and Condé Nast are among five TrustX Founders, which also include CBSi, News Corp and ESPN. These publishers are also early TrustX Beta participants, as is the Financial Times, who has experience with other alliances, including Pangaea in the UK.
“TrustX is a materially different opportunity,” said Jon Slade, Financial Times’ Global Chief Commercial Officer. “We joined because TrustX represents an industry-wide commitment to fixing the programmatic supply-chain at a time when we fully recognize the critical importance of rebuilding trust across the advertising ecosystem. Publishers, advertisers and agencies are all in this together. TrustX has given us a platform where we can all move from talk to action. If we do this right, everyone wins.”
Karyn Johnson, US President of Programmatic Investment at Publicis Media Exchange, echoed similar sentiments. “We’re encouraged to see marketers, agencies and publishers of this caliber participating together. We are always pushing the industry in terms of high-value, in-view, 100% human inventory, and are pleased to support projects that pursue this goal. The industry must work collaboratively to promote brand safety and eliminate waste in the programmatic space. Publicis Media is proud to be an early participant with so many of our clients.”
In its first four weeks, TrustX is trading well over 100 million daily impressions with plans to ramp up to 30+ premium publishers and billions of monthly avails over the next several months. At scale, TrustX will see 200MM+ unique users per month across all U.S. digital audience segments.
- On day one, TrustX and its members set a high bar for the next generation of programmatic trading. Foundational principles include:
100% human and viewable: The marketplace requires buyers and sellers to agree that only ads deemed to be seen by a human and 100% viewable (as per current MRC standards) will be monetized.
- 100% trading transparency down to the publisher and advertiser URL: All participants know what’s being bought and sold, all the time.
- 100% financial transparency from bid to delivery, reporting and billing: TrustX operates as a non-profit, which keeps operational costs low and maximizes working media dollars for buyers, and ad revenue for sellers.
“When we think about key requirements for the future of programmatic advertising, these are the must-haves,” said Jason Kanefsky, Chief Investment Officer at Havas Media. “We’re providing our clients a far deeper level of transparency and control over their digital campaigns. We couldn’t be more aligned with the TrustX mission.”
Having launched its beta in May, TrustX will accelerate buyer and seller participation through the third quarter, and begin the next level of programmatic innovation starting in Q4-2017. For example, TrustX plans to leverage the market’s enormous scale to test new ad monetization models, such as time-based attention metrics and the impact of low-clutter content pages, on brand recall and engagement. Also on the docket are several mobile, display and video ad units, which TrustX participants can evaluate programmatically across billions of impressions for their brand efficacy and economic returns on investment.
Katie Ashafa, VP and Group Director of Platform Media for Trilia, a Hill Holliday Company, summarized the sentiment of many early TrustX participants. “TrustX gives our traders a way to test what seems like the Holy Grail: viewable, brand safe ads in a transparent marketplace. We’re very excited to be testing this for clients and hope what we learn with TrustX drives more adoption and consistency across the industry.”
TrustX Publisher Members as of June 2017