In defence of appnexus

You will have noticed that since the end of the summer appnexus has been taking a lot of heat for not cleaning up the inventory made available through their SSP quickly enough. Many have said that appnexus knowingly sold inventory that was fraudulent to unsuspecting buyers.

This feels like a pretty unfair assertion. I think what it is fair to say is that appnexus knowingly made undeclared inventory available to buyers & that many buyers knowingly purchased it & beyond this some unwitting buyers also bought it, more on this below…

I’m going to do something a little unconventional here for someone who works on the demand side & come out in their defence… appnexus powered a custom trading desk that I worked on for around a year & I always found their account management team was very pro-active in bringing forward ways to improve the inventory we were buying, in many areas. They were also very good at coming into our offices, to provide additional training for new traders on what is a fairly complicated bidder.

Fine, I hear you say, but some of you will feel appnexus had a moral imperative to clean up their SSP much sooner. Maybe but bear this in mind: all businesses be they adtech or otherwise, have priorities. This is especially true of companies that are going through periods of rapid growth, doing things that have not been done before.

You might think that this should have been an area of focus but to be fair the tools for avoiding undeclared & low quality inventory were there, I used them, they were native & free in the platform. For buyers who preferred a belt and braces approach appnexus offered integrations with third parties like IAS & DV.

I think most will have used one of these two routes. So might it be the case that those who are bashing appnexus got caught out? Maybe, but if that that is the case then they should really be mad at themselves, because as a trader they were not able to realise they were making a non-additive trade for their client.

Regardless I think we should all move on, appnexus have made the changes, maybe not quick enough for some, but what’s done is done. I’m fairly sure that now appnexus have cleaned up their act in a month this will blow over. Let me know if you disagree with the above in the comments section.