COLOGNE — The era when news publishers were happy to just adopt big ad-tech firms’ stacks is over. Now they want to control their tech and, with it, their own destiny.

So says the man who runs programmatic ad-tech at one of the world’s biggest news publishers.

“The key, the underlying thing across all this is really making sure that we control our own destiny,” says News Corp global head of programmatic Chris Guenther in this video interview with Beet.TV.

“There used to be, for many publishers, ‘Oh just set up DFP [Google’s DoubleClick For Publishers] and then don’t worry about it’.”

Almost a year ago, News Corp’s News UK division conducted a test to ascertain the level of ad fraud ad play. The results were shocking.

According to its calculations, 2.9 million bids per hour were made on inventory purporting to be News UK’s but which, through domain spoofing, was not – meaning ad buyers were being duped in to wasting up to £700,000 ($911,000) per month on misplaced advertising.

News Corp promptly launched News IQ, a platform uniting first-party data, brand data, media properties and data science tools to help buy ads across News Corp brands.

It is all in response to a growing ad buyer bearishness toward the same ad-tech that publishers, too, are growing suspicious of, with claims of hidden fees and lack of transparency still ringing loud.

“We’ve been really excited about this focus over the past year or two on quality supply because, as a premium publisher who invests a lot in our content, and our environment, it’s something that, finally, it’s really the focus of the buy side,” Guenther tells Beet.TV.

And, whilst advertisers may be equally suspicious about buying ads in news publications at all, given the general outlook of much current affairs in 2018, with some platforms blacklisting news sites, Guenther says there is nothing to worry about

“Even if you’re on our properties against or near a news story that may be a less positive news story, it actually doesn’t have a negative impact on your brand,” he adds. “If anything, the key thing is you’re getting an engaged, very attractive user who still has a very positive perception of your ad, ’cause you’re within our environments, our premium environments.”

This video is part of a series produced at DMEXCO 2018 in Cologne titled:  “Finding Success in a Time of Transformation.” It is is presented by PubMatic. For segments from the series, please visit this page.