Google: Ad Networks and Exchanges Can Coexist Web giant also argues that context isn't dead

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

Mediaweek, 2/24/11

The conventional wisdom of late in the online ad industry has been that as ad exchanges rise, ad networks fall.

And as audience-based, data-centric ad buying increases in prominence, the old school, context-driven ad approach is becoming passé.

Yet Google has horses in both races. The company—in a blog post on Wednesday (Feb. 23)—is out to make a case that ad networks and exchanges can coexist, and even thrive. And context isn’t dead at all.

The basic argument of the post, authored by Neal Mohan, Google’s vp of product management, is that an either-or scenario “is the wrong way to look at it,” Mohan told Adweek. “It’s about what an agency or advertiser is trying to do.” Mohan likened the difference between using demand-side platforms to purchase ads in real time via an exchange to an investor managing his own stock portfolio. Meanwhile, using an ad network is like employing a stock broker.

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