LONDON — When programmatic online ad trading techniques hit the big time, headlines focused on their use in auction environments. But conventional-style display advertising can be upgraded by programmatic, too, says one ad agency exec.

“One of the really interesting spaces is the evolution of private marketplaces and this concept of ‘programmatic guaranteed’ … now this concept of having a completely fixed buy at a fixed price,” says Publicis digital unit VivaKi’s UK Audience On Demand GM Geoff Smith. “What value does that add in running it through a trade desk?

“Taking the audience decision away from the publisher and putting it in the hands of the trade desk on behalf of the agency and advertiser … by running it through a trade desk … we get to use our own data or our advertiser’s data to decide which impressions we want to deliver.”

We spoke with Smith as part of our series titled “The Road to Cannes,” a preview of the Festival and an overview on the state and future of digital media by a range of thought leaders. The series will be published over the next four weeks. The series is sponsored by Videology.