What is an Agency Trading Desk?

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Agency Trading Desk

An agency trading desk (ATD) is a massive media buyer and re-seller, which functions as an independent working unit within a large media buying concern, that special in programmatic media and audience buying. They are typically layered on top of a Demand-Side Platform (DSP) or other audience buying technologies to manage and optimize ad campaigns. Trading desks attempt to help clients improve their advertising performance and receive increased value from their display advertising. Trading desk staff plan, buy, measure and report media results to clients. All the major holding companies have agency trading desks, top players include Omnicom’s Accuen, WPP’s Xaxis, Publicis Groupe’s Vivaki, Interpublic Group’s Cadreon. Trading desks were created in order to give the client and the agency more control over ad placement. When working with an ad network, the client often has limited say over where the ad is placed. Working with a trading desk allows the client to direct where ad dollars and spent and more closely examine the results to optimize if necessary. Recently agency trading desks are starting to include digital billboards, OOH, DOOH, and outdoor advertising inventory in their media inventory and offerings.

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