Ad Lib: Quartz's Jay Lauf on Bespoke Ads and Keeping Things 'Quartzy'

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Jay Lauf
Jay Lauf Credit: David Hall

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In a note at the end of 2017, Quartz publisher Jay Lauf gave his thanks to readers and advertisers, making it a point of pride that the commercial team at Quartz had been "very deliberate about not working with open automated advertising exchanges" since day one.

That may sound a bit deep in-the-weeds, but in a year where brand safety was top of mind for publishers and brands alike (we're looking at you, P&G's Marc Pritchard), Quartz's five-year resistance to go the programmatic route seems downright prescient today.

Working with open exchanges, Lauf wrote, "risks eroding the user experience and the trust you put in us. In order to advertise on Quartz, a brand and its ad agency has to work directly with our ad team and, in fact, customize their ads to fit our design."

In this episode of Ad Lib, Lauf joins us to discuss this perspective — and how it played out in the trade media — as well as what it means to be "Quartzy," what he learned at previous gigs at Wired (starting in 2001) and the Atlantic (2008), and how the digital media landscape is shaping up in 2018.

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