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Reed Smith Ad Bites #3: ANA Programmatic Media Supply Chain Transparency Study

Reed Smith formed part of the core team drafting the seminal ANA Programmatic Media Supply Chain study.  Our RS Ad Bites breaks down each of the findings and delivers a key consideration when thinking about a marketer’s contractual relationship with its agency or vendor partner in respect of programmatic buying to protect your bottom line.  

Below is the third in our series. The full report can be found at

Marketers should proactively adopt measures, such as owning direct contracts with supply chain intermediaries—such as DSPs, ad verification, and SSPs—, as doing so directly correlates with enhanced control, transparency, and campaign optimization by addressing the persistent issues of data gaps, optimizes decision-making, and reduces waste. 

Despite trends in increased data access, programmatic advertising still faces transparency challenges. The study found that of the advertisers participating in the study, 52% owned direct DSP data access through their contracts. The study revealed that of those who participated, 80% own direct contracts with DSPs, 78% with Ad verification, and 27% with SSPs. By having direct relationships with supply chain intermediaries, marketers increase their ability to leverage their own data rights and, consequently, turn relevant data into valuable insights for optimizing campaign performance. This ownership not only provides continuous access to campaign data, but also grants marketers the flexibility to configure programmatic media investments according to their preferences.

To increase control and transparency, marketers are advised to have direct contracts with DSPs, enabling continued access to campaign data. Proper involvement of DSPs allows marketers to increase their own education and awareness around best campaign setup and configuration. Direct contracts with ad verification providers offer control over viewability, IVT, and brand safety. For SSPs, while direct contracts may be less common, the benefits include increased transparency, cost savings, and improved accountability. 

The playbook is: 

  1. Own direct contracts with supply chain intermediaries and negotiate clear buying parameters, service levels and make goods where the parameters are not observed, or the verification fails to weed out obvious waste. 
  2. Set protocols in contracts for access to and ownership of DSP data. 
  3. Implement operational processes and consider using log-level data. 
  4. Evaluate in-sourcing DSPs for CPM efficiencies and increased reach. 
  5. If unable to own supply chain contracts, ensure your client/agency agreement requires the agency to obtain and provide access rights to supply chain partner data. 


ana, advertising, entertainment & media