The Programmatic Primer: Trading desks in the online advertising ecosystem

This article is part of The Programmatic Primer, Warc's essential guide for advertisers to the latest online advertising techniques. The report includes detailed advice on how to work with companies in the online advertising ecosystem, plus use cases of programmatic in action. View a PDF version.

Need to know: Agency Trading Desks

  • Agency trading desks were established to enable media agencies to buy online advertising across multiple clients and publishers.
  • Think of trading desks as the top of the programmatic buying stack, where campaign setup occurs.
  • These services can offer advertisers coordinated campaign management and greater accountability, but also introduce a further layer of complexity and distance between the advertiser and publisher.
  • Some publishers have trading desks, which work with both agencies and clients. These offer targeted services using the publisher's audience data.