No Channel Conflict: Rubicon Project Takes the Conflict out of Ad Networks Selling Ad Space for Big Publishers

Rubicon Ad Space Certification Program Helps Websites Monetize Unsold Ad Space Through Ad Networks While Protecting Direct Sales Pricing

LOS ANGELES – the Rubicon Project, an advertising technology company focused on global Ad Network Optimization, offers solutions for publishers concerned about channel conflict between ad sales conducted by in-house sales teams and those sales made by third-party ad networks. The recent IAB/Bain research report on digital pricing re-enforces the opinion that channel conflict is one of the largest concerns facing large publishers.

“One of our concerns in working with ad networks is channel conflict,” says Greg Liberman, President and Chief Operating Officer of Spark Networks (AMEX:LOV), a leading provider of online personals services in the United States and internationally. “If ad networks are directly pitching our site for lower rates than our direct sales team is, it could hurt our pricing leverage. Working with the team and technology of the Rubicon Project, we are able to reap the benefits of monetizing unsold ad space across ad networks without constantly worrying about the channel conflict risk.”

Ad networks sometimes use a website’s specific name to entice advertisers. A dangerous practice is when a sales representative at an ad network lures the advertiser to buy through them rather than directly from the site by offering it at a lower price. While many ad networks have programs in place to reduce channel conflict, the problem continues to cause publishers pain. Over recent months several notable big-brand publishers have completely severed their ad network relationships, in part, due to concerns around channel conflict driving down CPM’s and the impact on direct sales efforts.

the Rubicon Project pioneered an intensive Ad Space Certification Program to provide independent verification of publisher inventory that ensures safety and accuracy for advertisers buying through ad networks. A key feature of this program, in addition to bringing more ad dollars online, is guarding publishers against channel conflict.

How the Rubicon Project tackles channel conflict:

* Certified Blind Sites: the Rubicon Project rates and classifies sites by quality, prominence and popularity so that a site’s value can be leveraged without specifying a name (e.g. top-tier news site)
* Certified Content Segments: e.g. Entertainment Channel, a selection of more than 300 entertainment sites, rather than a specific one
* Certified Audience & Geographic Channels: ad networks can safely re-sell high quality ad inventory by demographic information such as age, gender or ethnicity without having access to data on specific sites
* Restricted Information: since the publisher’s primary relationship is with the Rubicon Project, ad networks do not need to employ “Chinese walls” with information because they do not directly interact with the publisher

“Channel conflict is a real problem for big publishers,” said Frank Addante, CEO and Founder of the Rubicon Project. “As a result, many publishers have disabled their ad networks from effectively selling their ad inventory by preventing them from using information such as their site name and other critical data such as demography and context. Our job is to help websites become effective ad network channel managers. With this program, we are re-enabling this important channel to generate the highest possible rates for publishers while protecting their direct sales efforts.”

Because the Rubicon Project is addressing channel conflict head on, there’s hope these issues will soon be a thing of the past. Until then, publishers can’t afford to ignore the opportunities ad networks provide – anywhere from 40 to 80 percent of the average publisher’s inventory goes unsold by a publisher’s direct sales team – and ad networks obviously need publishers to place their ads. With the help of the Rubicon Project, both parties can move beyond fear and distrust toward their common goal: making money.

To learn more about channel conflict and other issues affecting online advertising, visit

About the Rubicon Project

the Rubicon Project is a group of industry-experienced, aggressive and passionate renegades dedicated to bringing a new level of efficiency to the fragmented Internet advertising space. The founders of the Rubicon Project shook up the online advertising industry in 1998 when they created L90/adMonitor, one of the most successful Internet advertising platforms that served over 3,000 of the web’s most recognized sites, reaching 65% of the Internet population before DoubleClick acquired it.

$27 Billion was spent advertising online in 2007, yet it’s still too hard for websites to sell their ad space online. the Rubicon Project’s web-based, self-serve solution gives any size website the most complete access to the total available advertising market and its smart matching technology does all the work to perfectly match each ad impression with the optimal money-making opportunity. the Rubicon Project is the new online advertising standard that makes it effortless for websites to generate the mad cash they’ve always dreamed of. And, it’s free to join. Websites looking to make more money while doing less work should visit:

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