Lidl looks to forge direct publisher relationships in next phase of in-housing journey

The Drum 02 Dec 2019 01:20

Lidl is in the midst of reviewing its contracts for "tier one" media partners as part of the next phase of its in-housing journey.

The German budget supermarket chain – which spent £62m on advertising last year – began its move to in-house programmatic media two years ago.

Since 2017, it has worked to a “hybrid model," having built out its own internal team of specialists and consolidated its digital media buying with Adobe’s demand-side platform (DSP). This process has given Lidl ownership of the contract to buy, serve and track ads. But, it continues to work with media agencies including OMD and Starcom which handle planning and buying respectively.

Speaking at The Drum’s Programmatic Punch event on Monday (2 December) in London, Lidl’s head of media Sam Gaunt said the brand is now extending its internal team’s remit as it looks to forge direct relationships with "media partners" in a bid to secure better inventory for 2020.

“So, what we’ve done is figure out the inventory that does have value for us and we’re trying to secure that for the future.”

This is not a new development in the industry.

For Lidl, the transparency point has been key. Gaunt said that since it began its in-housing journey it has managed to exercise more control over its media buys but a surprising by-product of this has been more trust in its agencies.

Despite the progress and plans for 2020, Gaunt stressed that “fully in-housing” and ridding itself of any media agency in relation to programmatic was not an option.

“For us, a hybrid model has helped us strengthen relationships with agencies. As long as you've got that degree is mistrust – when you don't have that visibility, you don't know the decisions being made, then the commercial relationships - it doesn't matter the reassurances you get from an agency.

“The number one benefit has been strengthening of that trust."

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LidlSam GauntAdobeStarcomEU