The Guardian, CNN International, the Financial Times and Reuters have announced a new partnership which will put a selection of the groups’ ad inventory up for programmatic sale. 

In partnership with the Rubicon Project, the groups have formed ‘The Pangaea Alliance’ in a bid to capitalise on the demand for buying ads in real time and within quality, brand-safe environments. 

A news article announcing the deal at The Guardian said the groups were ‘taking on’ the likes of Facebook, Microsoft and Google and the “drain of ad spend” to the aforementioned groups.

With a global audience of 110-million users, Tim Gentry, global revenue director at Guardian News and Media, claims that one of Pangaea’s best assets is in its member publications.

“We know that trust is the biggest driver of brand advocacy, so we have come together to scale the benefits of advertising within trusted media environments, which are geared towards delivering cutting-edge creative campaigns in technically advanced formats.”

Beta testing

Pangaea is set to get underway with a beta test in April 2015. This will see the publications offering conventional display ads and unique, publisher-specific products, such as native placements, to advertisers wanting to buy ad space programmatically. 

The first tests will see all enquiries related to the Alliance managed by a central team, with Gentry standing as project lead. 

In comments following the news, he was keen to stress the simplicity of being able to buy ad space through some of the biggest names in publishing. 

“As the world becomes more complex and networked, Pangaea will give advertisers one single programmatic solution for driving influence at scale, allowing them to get cut-through in an increasingly fragmented market using the latest ad serving technology.”

Gregory R. Raifman, president of Rubicon Project, added that he was “thrilled” to supply the technology that would support such a “ground-breaking” partnership. 

Trusted environment

One thing the Alliance is looking to instil is trust in a market which has been hampered by murmurs of automated buying in unsafe and undesired environments.

Last year, a Google-led survey concluded that an improvement in inventory quality as well as greater transparency into what advertisers and agencies are buying would help programmatic reach its potential.  

The Alliance says it is looking to tap into the $60 billion global display ad market with a premium offering, using the Rubicon Project’s ad delivery platform as a springboard.

Advertisers will also gain access to the publishers’ first-party data to help with user targeting.