Consultancy Programmatic – Smart Upsell Or Blatant Double Dip?
Business Consultancies are about to get into the programmatic game. As an example Accenture Interactive announced plans to launch a programmatic buying service for the media its clients are buying. For consultancies this is a “perfectly logical step” into the marketing services world. For agencies and freestanding DSPs this move represents an existential threat to their business model.
So why is just about everyone in the programmatic world crying foul over the idea of consultancies in-housing programmatic buying? Their argument is since consultancies have a profit motivation to send clients to their programmatic team it will create a conflict of interest for their auditors and business strategists. Many of these same agencies tried unsuccessfully to run their own double dip play by setting up programmatic trading desks a few years ago. That attempt failed as clients demanded separation of duties and transparency from agencies. So now they’re howling at the idea that consultancies could get away with play they unsuccessfully tried to run.
So will clients give consultancies a pass and let them place programmatic business on their behalf? Only time will tell. In the meantime industry players like Crossmedia CEO Kamran Asghar are wondering, “If clients are asking Accenture for this, then what the hell is wrong with our industry?” I think it’s a valid question.