An Agency Trading Desk (sometimes referred to as an ATD) is at the middle of Programmatic Advertising. The Agency Trading Desk is a programmatic media planning and buying unit within a traditional advertising agency or Agency Holding Company. Some Agency Trading Desks handle data and audience operations also.
Most Agency Trading Desks tend to be DSP agnostic, which means they don’t rely on a single Demand Side Platform for Programmatic Buying. Its not uncommon for An Agency Trading Desk to use 2 or 3 DSPs for an Advertiser. Some advertiser clients will insist the Agency Trading Desks use the client’s own Demand Side Platform or DSP of choice.
Agency Trading Desk source their clients in two main ways;
A Partner agency in the same agency holding group; or
An Advertiser Direct Relationship
Despite an agency having an Agency Trading Desk, we still see programmatic buying coming from traditional media buying agencies.
Agency Trading Desks typically run a fully Transparent or Semi-transparent business or they run a completely non-transparent model often referred to as “Black Box”.
An Independent Trading Desk specializes in the buying of digital advertising using programmatic advertising platforms and is owned independently. It can provide access to native advertisements, sponsored search, social, TV, and video in addition to display.
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