Google-Yahoo: Do Not Fear What Will Make Us More Relevant

VIEWPOINT: VivaKi's Curt Hecht Sees Transparency in the Ad Deal -- and a Boon for His Network

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Curt Hecht
Curt Hecht
There's been a lot of noise about the Google-Yahoo agreement. There will be a lot more. I'm not a politician or a regulator, so I'll leave the legal aspects of this debate to others. What I am is a consumer-contact expert. I connect brand messages to people -- ideally with people who find the messages relevant and meaningful. From my perspective, the Google-Yahoo deal only enhances my ability to do my job, please my client and turn consumers into customers.

There are those who fear the deal. They suggest that Google will become a monopoly and make a commodity of our business. Those people underestimate our business.
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Any deal, decision or system that opens up distribution only increases our ability to deliver creative, insightful ideas to people who value them. This, in turn, increases the value of our clients' brands. And if that system also delivers greater transparency? We all win.

Google and Yahoo have always delivered open and transparent platforms for advertising, which is why we have always enjoyed working with them. If those platforms can talk to each other going forward, consumers will have an easier time finding what they need, when they need it. That will be good for advertisers and good for the agencies that serve them. By opening up the market even further, Google and Yahoo are creating change, which might be frightening for the change-averse. To my mind, "more open" means "more accessible," allowing for better consumer experience, empowering us to be increasingly relevant to the people we are trying to engage.

Case in point: The benefits of transparency are made abundantly clear in the Audience on Demand Network that we are building for VivaKi across Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL's Platform A. This open-source solution spans the world's largest digital-media companies to integrate global audiences while also providing diversity, liquidity and transparency of content. The collaboration provides access to an audience of profound scale through a single point of entry. And the price is optimized as well. The net is that each of the agencies served by VivaKi can leverage the Audience on Demand Network independently to drive and implement smart, creative strategies for their clients.

Because these platforms are willing to communicate with each other, the brands can connect their clients to precisely defined global audiences -- think moms, travelers, dog owners -- in a single campaign buy across the multiple networks. This is a big change. A good change. Until now, agencies and clients have had to work through a highly fragmented media environment of ad networks, exchanges and direct publisher relationships.
Curt Hecht is president of the VivaKi Nerve Center, which was launched by Publicis Groupe in June. Previously chief digital officer for Starcom MediaVest Group, Mr. Hecht has been a pioneer in partnering with the global digital networks to deliver new solutions to clients.

The VivaKi Nerve Center operates on the philosophy that creating open technology solutions in the marketplace will make it easier for clients to scale digital marketing, reaching vast but keenly defined audiences through a simple, one-stop buying process. This will ultimately improve ROI for our clients and enhance the overall workflow process and bring greater innovation to the industry.

We should not resist the Google-Yahoo deal. In fact, the industry's next phase of growth will be driven by collaboration and through platforms that enable a more open approach to the way online advertising is bought and sold. Yahoo's first partner is Google, and I don't believe they are signaling there won't be others. The Audience on Demand Network is a first step in bringing more scale to the overall digital ecosystem. And just imagine the potential if we extend this to other platforms.
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