Ad Council Announces First Private Marketplace, Empowering Media Companies to Donate Digital Inventory in Support of COVID-19 Efforts

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Leading programmatic partners including Cadreon, Trade Desk, Acxiom and EMX join in first pro bono marketplace for social causes

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ad Council, in partnership with Cadreon and The Trade Desk, announced the launch of the first Ad Council Private Marketplace (PMP), which will give publishers and media companies the opportunity to donate digital media inventory in support of the Ad Council’s COVID-19 digital public service ads (PSAs).

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Receiving donated media through a private marketplace is a first for the Ad Council, which will provide the opportunity to strategically target messages around at-risk audience populations, social distancing, personal hygiene and other critical COVID-19 PSAs to specific audiences. The marketplace is currently projected to deliver over 100 million display and video impressions in the first two months through donated inventory.

“The launch of the first Private Marketplace in support of social causes, particularly during this national crisis, is truly momentous for our industry and our audiences throughout the country,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “Through the PMP, we’ll have the opportunity to serve the right message to the right audience at the right time. During this everchanging crisis, it will be invaluable to be able to optimize, evolve and adapt messaging and target audiences to ensure that our COVID-19 messages drive the greatest impact. We’re so grateful to our programmatic and media partners for coming forward and generously donating their platforms, services and inventory.”

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The PMP will enable the Ad Council to rapidly distribute new creative assets, optimize performance, refine audience targeting and control for certain key variables. The Trade Desk is donating their tech platform and Cadreon is donating in-platform management. Acxiom is donating data segments to target at-risk audiences, parents and young adults. Additionally, media partners that have donated inventory so far include: InMobi, GroundTruth, OpenX, Ogury, Xandr, TripleLift, Bustle, the New York Post, EMX (a Division of ENGINE Group) and Kargo.

To date, nearly 1 million unique users have been reached with display and video ads, with a heavy percentage serving the “Protect Yourself” message to an at-risk audience. The ads are performing above industry benchmarks for click-through rate and video completion rate. The PMP will support upcoming COVID-19 messages including mental health and content designed to reach multicultural audiences.

Today’s announcement is part of the Ad Council’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 crisis, convening the country’s largest broadcast media networks, digital and technology platforms, print and outdoor advertising and media companies and other industry leaders to ensure the American public is receiving crucial information during this unprecedented crisis. In the first three weeks, the Ad Council’s crisis response efforts received more than $57 million in donated, earned and social media and the messages were seen over 2 billion times.

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