NEW YORK: A majority of brands are planning to bypass their agencies when it comes to programmatic ad buying, a new survey has said.

Advertising Age reported the findings of a CMO Club poll, which contacted 600 CMOs during October, of which 130 responded. According to this, some 46.2% of brands are preparing to consider a direct relationship with a demand-side platform, while a further 15.4% are already working with one.

Just 30.8% indicated that they were managing the relationship using an agency partner.

The magazine said this development was being driven by the increasing trend of brands to collect their own data. "Tying first-party data to a programmatic media buy can help reach the consumers they [brands] want, minimizing the need for a middleman," it noted.

While programmatic buying has so far been limited to online display and video ads, it is set to spread to television. Comcast, the cable and ISP company, is to trial the targeting of ads to subscribers watching linear programming based on demographic profiles, with a view to rolling out the platform next year.

Comcast VP Andrew Ward said the company was building a database to cross-reference names and addresses of Comcast subscribers against third-party credit data, as well as public census data on likely attributes.

MediaPost explained that as well as targeting ads to households, the platform would enable Comcast to use locally available TV inventory to sell additional Comcast services to its own customers. It also noted that Comcast intended to send ads to tablets and other devices using IP within the home, as it sought to reach dual-screeners.

The scale of the change facing television was highlighted by Dan Ackerman, senior vice president of, the video advertising platform, as he addressed the Streaming Media West conference in California.

"Companies like Amazon, Roku, and online travel sites have been there for the birth of automation and have thrived," he said. "On the other hand, household names like Barnes & Noble, Tower Records, Kodak, and Blockbuster didn't adopt programmatic and are now either gone or suffering."

Television was about to face a similar challenge. Adapt or die was his message, Streaming Media reported.

Data sourced from Advertising Age, MediaPost, Streaming Media; additional content by Warc staff