A 1980s TV commercial for the combined shampoo-and-conditioner Wash & Go made famous the catchphrase: “Take two bottles in to the shower?!”

Now ad-tech firm FreeWheel is effectively uniting the “shampoo” and “conditioner” of TV ad sales – creating a unified product in which A+E Networks can manage two different kinds of ads.

Comcast-owned FreeWheel has worked with broadcast company A+E to give it a “unified ad decisioning engine”, uniting the previously separate tools which handled:

  • management and scheduling of direct-sold ad inventory
  • management of programmatic demand through a supply-side platform

FreeWheel says that historic separation has led to “pricing conflicts, TV-compliance issues and negative user experience impacts”. But the unified system “allows A+E Networks to holistically consider the full pool of demand, including direct sold buys, and optimize across all business rules and requirements”.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Geoff Wolinetz, FreeWheel SVP client relationships, says: “Effectively, we’re talking about changing the way that we decision advertising.

“When you have a bunch of different demand sources in play, typically what happens is there will be an SSP that does an auction, and then they will pass a winner along to an ad server who then does another set of decisioning to figure out which is the right ad to serve.

“In this case, what A+E is going to do is send us all of their demand. We’re going to put it into one big pool, and we’re going to arbitrate one auction that allows us to pick the most fit ad.

“Think of this as survival of the fittest for an advertisement that comes through.”

FreeWheel plans to offer the system to other companies beside A+E this year.

Here is the company press release.