Coca-Cola, the soft drinks giant, is seeking to deliver “fairness” to its programmatic partners, rather than placing them under the disproportionate level of scrutiny that often seems to be the case in the industry at present.

Kyle Lebet, senior customer connections manager at Coca-Cola, discussed the subject during a session at Advertising Week 2018 in New York.

“One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot when it comes to programmatic, and our trading desk partners, is this concept of fairness – and what we ask of those programmatic and trading desk partners versus what we ask of some of our other media channels,” Lebet said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Coke to programmatic naysayers: Give martech a chance.)

“No one’s asking a radio station what their transmitters – or whatever – cost. And yet we have all these demands of margins and everything else with our programmatic and trading partners.”

Lebet is aware of the need to ensure Coca-Cola’s beverage brands generate the highest possible return on their investment. But, he asserted, quibbling over every single penny as a matter of principle will not lead to the best outcomes.

“I want to make sure that we’re doing it for the right reasons and to get that final bottom-line result, rather than just making these demands,” he said.

“Because what they can do, and what they can provide us, is really awesome … It’s above and beyond what a lot of other channels can provide us. So I want to make sure that we're being fair when dealing with those kinds of partners.

“And that’s important, because you've got to be asking what’s the point of what transparency you’re asking for.”

Lebet further suggested that attempting to nickel-and-dime programmatic vendors for the sake of securing a few minor savings is of questionable value. Securing legitimate transparency and guaranteeing brand safety, by contrast, is vital.

“If you’re just trying to cut a couple of cents here and there, that’s something tangible that you can grab a hold of and tell your boss that was successful. But is it the most important thing to be doing?” he asked.

Scrimping on fees for programmatic companies also stops these enterprises from making a reasonable return and growing their own capabilities. “If you’re delivering what we’ve asked of you, then that’s it. You’re a business, too,” Lebet said.

Sourced from WARC