Political advertisers have shied away from programmatic because they require stringent fact-checking and creative approvals. But as streaming soars and people cut the cord, political advertisers want to take advantage of targeting as they shift budget to OTT – especially as the 2020 election approaches.
Xandr has launched a curated workflow that allows political and advocacy advertisers to buy programmatically while maintaining creative compliance by adding a manual review step into the process, the company said Wednesday.
“We’ve been prohibiting that access in the past,” said Jon Mansell, VP of programmatic solutions and partnerships at WarnerMedia. “We wanted to avoid the potential for something going wrong.”
Political advertisers buying through Xandr Invest can submit their creative through a private marketplace, and Xandr will run a priority audit to classify the ad. Political ads are then sent over to WarnerMedia for a manual review, which involves verifying where the creative came from and fact-checking any claims made in the ad.
Once the ad is approved by WarnerMedia’s compliance team, Xandr activates the PMP and executes the buy.
“Buyers can run on all WarnerMedia properties as well as other supply our DSP can access,” said Steve Truxal, SVP of product management at Xandr.
While the manual review step slows down the buying process, it gives political advertisers the comfort they need to shift to programmatic buying. Previously, advertisers were deterred by what can be an opaque buying process between platforms, Mansell said.
It also guards WarnerMedia from accidentally running a false or misleading political ad – while opening up its coffers to online political ad dollars, which are expected to hit $3 billion this year, per GroupM.
Xandr is able to provide the appropriate level of creative oversight for political advertisers because it operates a closed programmatic ecosystem, allowing comprehensive review of campaigns from ad buy through to delivery. The company has been making a push into political advertising this year, launching custom workflows and exclusive inventory access specifically for political buyers.
“It’s a tough problem to solve if you don’t own the supply chain,” Truxal said.