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eBay prepares for programmatic-only trials signing Essence and VivaKi as agency partners

Ebay's advertising arm has revealed agencies Essence and Publicis-owned VivaKi are among the first companies to sign up for its programmatic-only experiment, which will see the online marketplace halt all regular deals for one week.

The experiment, first unveiled by The Drum last December, will kick off on 16 February, and will see all eBay Advertising’s standard UK display traded programmatically.

At the time Phuong Nguyen, director of eBay Advertising, told The Drum the move was aimed at helping accelerate understanding and best practice around “technology-driven innovation and creativity”. He referenced O2 as one of the participating brands.

During the experiment eBay will analyse campaign performance, brand participation and operational process, across its site, which claims 19 million “purchase-ready” active users.

The move will see eBay, which already trades the majority of its inventory programmatically, run 100 per cent of its ad trading programmatically for the first time.

Nguyen said: “We want to accelerate the industry understanding of what can be achieved when measurement, targeting and execution sit on top of a bespoke programmatic platform.

“With 19 million purchase-ready active users, we’re perfectly positioned to make use of the real-time nature of programmatic advertising. We’re expecting to see a real shift in how brands and buying agencies interact in a truly real time environment and I’m confident that we’ll see some creative campaigns that make use of the full potential of programmatic.”

Danny Hopwood, head of platform, EMEA at VivaKi added: “More and more of our clients are also seeing the value that programmatic offers to their advertising from both a cost and creative perspective. For programmatic to reach its full potential however we need both buyers and sellers to embrace it and be open to test and learn. eBay’s Programmatic Only Week is a great opportunity to do so and we look forward to more publishers following their example.”

Anna Stoyanova, programmatic director of Essence, commented: “Smart brands realise that programmatic is fundamental to good digital marketing. We believe eBay Advertising’s Programmatic Only Week will provide a window into the future of the industry, a future where everyone benefits from more relevant advertising. It’s great to see eBay taking this leadership position."

Ebay currently offers programmatic advertising via both private and open exchanges, and will resume its regular ad trading on 23 February.

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