Why we sold Optimal’s technology to Sovrn
Rob Leathern

Hi Rob. Congrats on the move to Facebook. At the end of the first paragraph, you stated, “I’ve seen publishers give in to the temptation to work with brand-destroying (but well-paying) ‘native’ ad partners, or worse.” That begs a couple questions:

  1. Given Facebook’s approach with Instant Articles — use publisher reliance on referral traffic as means to coerce them to hand over their content or be shut out of the platform altogether before ultimately revising the revenue share model dramatically in their favor — how do you view the company and its tactics now? And
  2. What do you see as your primary opportunities and challenges to affect any of the issues surrounding digital advertising, the broader advertising ecosystem in general, and cross-media experiences in the context of a) your Facebook role and b) in your role as board member for changeadvertising.org?

I know that’s a lot. But consumers and marketers are in a very precarious place right now with Facebook’s myriad attempts to contend with Google despite all consequences.

I appreciate your time and hope you can respond in due time.

Thank you.

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