33 Major Publishers Are Promising Advertisers a New Level of Safety and Transparency

Will the programmatic platform TrustX woo media buyers?

ESPN, Business Insider, Financial Times and Newsday are among the players in the mix. Getty Images
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The Google-Facebook duopoly has proved to be less than perfect. Google’s video platform, YouTube, has struggled to provide brand safety, and Facebook is still recovering—PR-wise, at least—from its late 2016 measurement woes.

TrustX, a programmatic platform announced last September that includes 33 publishers, is looking to capitalize on whatever concerns brand advertisers have with the duopoly. (And, to be fair, any concerns they have about programmatic, which has battled against a narrative about digital ad fraud for years.) Since last fall, TrustX has promised 100 percent viewability, per the Media Rating Council’s standards, 100 percent transparency on what’s being bought and sold, and a clear view of reporting and billing. But the platform hasn’t been in full-steam-ahead mode until now.

TrustX is revealing today that the concept it debuted last fall is officially built, and it’s been trading more than 100 million daily impressions to 200 million monthly viewers on sites like ESPN, Business Insider, Financial Times, Daily Caller and Newsday. Those figures came from a four-week beta test last month.

These 33 companies have signed on with the platform.

Troy Young, president, Hearst Magazines Digital Media, said there “is huge demand for this type of programmatic experience.”

Hearst Digital is among five TrustX founding members, which also include Conde Nast, CBSi, News Corp and ESPN. Digital publishing organization Digital Content Next (DCN) has also been instrumental in getting the project up and running.

It will be interesting to gauge TrustX’s performance with independent media buyers in the year ahead. For now, they seem interested in the offering.

“When we think about key requirements for the future of programmatic advertising, these [delivery guarantees] are the must-haves,” said Jason Kanefsky, Havas Media’s chief investment officer, in a statement. “We’re providing our clients a far deeper level of transparency and control over their digital campaigns. We couldn’t be more aligned with the TrustX mission.”

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.