Audience Partners has unveiled a high-profile publisher partnership it hopes will help assuage campaigns’ concerns about questionable inventory. Digital advertising distributors have been scrambling to secure quality inventory as concern in the industry is growing over bot traffic, fraudulent ad placement and the overall effectiveness of online marketing.
“Everything you’re seeing about questionable inventory, this counteracts that problem,” said Jordan Lieberman, the political and public Affairs lead for Audience Partners.
Audience Partners’ joint venture with Time Inc., called CampaignFocus, is a way for the company to place their clients’ ads directly onto digital properties like Time.com and People.com without going through an exchange.
Moreover, it allows for cookie-targeting Time Inc.’s audience using the voter file, bringing the magazine-subscription microtargeting of the early 2000s into the present day.
“You’re going to cross readership preferences with the voter file so you might find Republicans who read Essence or Democrats who read Field & Stream,” said Lieberman. “Contextual targeting is going to be an important part of this.”
Reach remains a problem with premium inventory, but Lieberman thinks Time Inc.’s network of 60 websites that attract more than 150 million visitors each month helps overcome that issue. “Good digital vendors should be working on their premium offerings,” he said. “If they’re not, they’re probably doing their clients a disservice.”
Despite being a “premium” service, Lieberman said CampaignFocus isn’t limited to the budgets of national campaigns. “I would see this going pretty far down to the smallest races,” he said.
Meanwhile, JT Kostman, Time’s chief data officer, said there’s little difference between how campaigns and major brands should be marketing their “products.”
“At the end of the day, politics is a product, and the key to messaging any product is getting the right content to the right person in the right context at the right time,” Kostman said in a statement. “Our partnership with Audience Partners allows us to do just that by tying political messaging to compelling content in a way that ensures its resonance with donors and voters.”
The Time Inc. partnership is just the latest premium-publisher link up Audience Partners has announced recently. The company unveiled a similar arrangement with the site Elite Daily late last year.