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Havas Digital, Traffiq Reach Platform Pact

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Havas Digital and New York-based digital ad platform Traffiq have formed a strategic alliance that names Traffiq a "main platform of choice" for the Boston-based shop, a unit of Havas in Paris.

Under the agreement, Havas Digital planners and buyers in the shop's offices in Boston, New York and Chicago will use Traffiq's ad platform to plan and execute ad transactions for many (but not all) of their clients' digital campaigns.

For Traffiq, it's the first agreement of its kind with an agency holding company, said Mark Kahn, founder and CEO of the two-and-a-half-year-old company, although talks about similar agreements are ongoing with Interpublic Group, Publicis, WPP, Omnicom and Aegis, he said. Deals are already in place with a number of independent digital shops, including AdStrategies, Pavone, Torque Media and Capitol Media Solutions, Kahn said.

For Havas Digital the agreement is essentially a trial to see if the Traffiq platform can help bring greater efficiencies to the digital ad buying process, said Ed Montes, regional manager, Havas Digital North America. With various formats and a general lack of standards, "there is a lot of friction in the marketplace," said Montes.

Because Traffiq offers and "end-to-end" offering from campaign conception, planning, buying, tracking and reconciliation, "we're going to give it a shot," to see if it can bring efficiencies to the process, he said. "There's so much coming at planners from an inventory perspective and inventory-type perspective and business process and many sites do things differently."

The main idea, said Montes, is to find a system that enables planners to spend less time administering campaigns "so they can spend more time thinking about their clients businesses." For Havas the agreement is designed to "see how much efficiency we can drive" using the Traffiq system, he added.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, although Kahn said there are incentives for Havas to use the system early and often. "There is favorable consideration that they get" the more they use it, Kahn said of the shop.

Currently there are more than 35 different digital formats in the market and Traffiq can handle all of them, said Kahn. The system processes campaigns averaging 35 million impressions a day, said Kahn. The average campaign on the system is valued at $75,000, with an average cost per thousand viewers of $4.80.

Nielsen Business Media