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Drudge Report's ad broker discusses innovation -- no, really! -- and the brand-safety blues

By Published on .

Erik Requidan.
Erik Requidan. Credit: David Hall

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Last October when Time magazine compiled its "most influential websites of all time," it put the Drudge Report report squarely at No. 8. Eight! The conservative political news site hovers high in the top ten list of U.S. media publishers of the Marketers' Intelligence Blog, too.

And it's true. Personally speaking, when an Ad Age story finds its way onto Matt Drudge's bare-bones curated list of news links, the traffic spike is eye-popping. It's drive-by traffic, sure, the quality of which is maybe questionable. It yields a few weird comments on our site. But the impact is undeniable: The badly designed Web 1.0 relic is a traffic monster, still. In 2018.

Under the hood at Drudge, and other conservative sites like it—including Political Insider, Smith & Wesson Forum and MRC Newscasters—is its advertising marketing firm Intermarkets. And under the hood of Intermarkets is Erik Requidan, VP of programmatic strategy.

In an era when the advertising community likes to talk about inclusivity and embracing divergent viewpoints, Requidan says he feels like the odd man out. He joins us on the Ad Lib podcast today to make the case for how Drudge and his other sites—as video-free and Craigslist-looking as they still are—are actually innovative on the tech front. Header bidding optimization anyone? PMP offerings, maybe?

We get into ad blocking and keyword filtering, how brands are often quick to blacklist certain points of view (especially in the current political climate) and how Intermarkets has dealt with its own brand-safety issues.

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