The company has posted a job listing for an assistant VP of
Precision Advertising Information Technology with experience
overseeing data management platforms and demand-side platforms used
to build in-house trading desks. The person is to work with the
company's chief marketing officer team and brand media leaders to
identify "which platforms will be trialed and then scaled for broad
use to achieve precision buying and tracking of media buys."
A person familiar with the matter said L'Oreal is looking to
build an in-house trading desk. A L'Oreal spokeswoman initially
declined to comment.
But a spokesman later said in a statement: "L'Oréal USA
has no plans to bring programmatic trading in-house. The approach
that we are taking will be a client-led strategic partnership with
our media agency supporting our decisions, the operations,
technology and relationships."
The move comes roughly a year after L'Oreal Chief Digital
Officer Lubomira Rochet said in an interview with Advertising Age
that the company is
exploring a variety of options for handling programmatic
L'Oreal rival Procter & Gamble Co. launched its
Hawkeye system in 2010, and others have done so more recently, such
as Kellogg Co.
and big retailers Walmart and Target.
The latter two are among a growing number of retailers with
in-house trading desks that also serve suppliers.
Unilever and Kimberly-Clark Corp. have developed dedicated
programmatic trading operations through WPP's MindShare, while many others still buy
through operations such as WPP's Xaxis, which serve multiple
Programmatic trading desks have been central to two big
media-buying issues in recent years -- transparency and fraud.
Association of National Advertisers studies have found
many marketers have suspicions about the murky supply
chain of digital buying, with programmatic adding a layer of
complexity that makes it harder to know how much their agencies
make on the buys.
talk with investors late last year, Unilever Chief
Marketing and Communications Officer Keith Weed credited his
company's Mindshare-run Ultra programmatic trading system and
strict standards on viewability of digital ads with limiting
fraudulent traffic in buys to 2%, which he said was the lowest of
any marketer in a North American study that found fraud traffic
accounted for up to 37% of some marketers' buys.
study released last month in conjunction with digital
fraud-tracker WhiteOps and several marketers, including Unilever,
found fraudulent impressions accounted for 3% to 37% of buys
depending on the marketer. The ANA declined to identify which
marketers were at the high or low ends, and a Unilever spokeswoman
said the company wasn't at liberty to discuss its results in that
Contributing: Alexandra Bruell