How a revamped Green Media Product hopes to solve ‘problematic placements’

The marketing industry’s efforts to showcase its environmental wares will peak as Earth Day 2024 (April 22) draws ever closer, with ad tech players eager to demonstrate their efforts to minimize the sector’s carbon footprint.

Ahead of this, Brian O’Kelley’s Scope3 unveiled GMP+, the latest iteration of its Green Media Product offering. This offering aims to “enhance advertising efficiency by eliminating “problematic placements,” such as unviewable ads or those that reload too frequently.

Sharethrough is the first supply-side platform to offer GMP+, which uses a standardized identifier designed to track ad placements across the digital advertising ecosystem known as Global Placement ID, as it likewise aims to highlight its sustainable wares.

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Sharethrough CMO Benoit Skinazi noted how the initiative builds upon earlier GMP products, such as GreenPMPs, in a press statement that also claims GMP+ blocks made-for-advertising (MFA) websites and leverages the Scope3 emissions model to block high-carbon inventory.

“In continuation of Sharethrough’s GreenPMPs, launched two years ago in partnership with Scope3 with the objective of decarbonizing digital advertising and already widely adopted by thousands of brands,” he is quoted as saying. “GreenPMP+ allows us to take a step further in improving performance and making advertising more sustainable.”

According to the duo, GMP+ represents a significant step toward sustainable advertising by mitigating the negative environmental impact of programmatic ad placements, primarily via ad auctions. Scope3 CEO Brian O’Kelley, explained his claim that the launch of GMP+ marks a pivotal development in eco-friendly ad tech.

The following conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

You claim GMP+ ‘prevents problematic placements’ by ‘blocking wasteful placements,’ is it competitive to verification vendors?

It was very important to us not to reinvent a wheel that has already been solved by the industry. [Verification vendors such as DoubleVerify and Integral AdScience] DV and IAS have lots of detection mechanisms, but they’ve been very focused on fraud, viewability, and, more recently, attention, plus things like custom algorithms.

What we haven’t seen anyone leverage the idea of identifying bad placements and removing them from the bid stream before they do anything. I think the challenge for brand-safety companies is that they tend to be either in the creative or doing pre-bid targeting at the DSP level.

But that means that a lot of the bad behaviors [such as MFA ad placements] have already happened. Our goal is to create a universal way of saying, ‘That behavior is bad for that placement.’

Can you explain more about how GMP+ works, including the revenue model?

So, we now have about 70-to-80 clients using GMP [launched in 2022]–some of whom are DSPs that implement our climate-shield solution, but the majority are either publishers, ad networks, or SSPs–that are trying to create green marketplaces. Last year, we saw some publishers say they did $1 million in GMP revenue using our data, and some of our ad tech partners say 10% of revenue comes from GMP.

We license our data to ad networks, SSPs, or publishers– they can pass that on if they want, but we don’t participate in that–the reason it’s a license fee, as opposed to a CPM or rev share or whatever is that we really want this turned on for everything. GMP+ works in the same way; all these same companies can deploy it in the same way; they just need to integrate our placement data and start using Global Placement ID.

There are those who would define this as another ‘ad tech tax,’ what’s your response to that?

Typically, an ad tech tax’ is a percentage of media or a CPM, if you want, that comes out of every single ad buy. When you buy, you’re paying 7% to a DSP, then 9% to an SSP, and 15% for data–all of those are marginal.

What’s nice about our model being a flat subscription is that there’s a zero marginal cost, and there is no tax. Supply-side partners like Sharethrough may look to create special inventory packages that they charge more for because it’s greener inventory.

Brian O’Kelley will formally unveil GMP+ at The Green Media Summit

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