SCMP to withdraw from open marketplace in HK and SEA

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) is set to remove all inventory from the open marketplace in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines from 1 January 2021 onwards and connect their first-party data and persistent user IDs to programmatic deals.

Aimed at driving efficiencies and return on investment for buyers, the latest move is also the result of a series of growing concern, such as brand safety, data privacy, the upcoming deprecation of user IDs (third-party cookies and the identifier for advertisers), among advertisers and publishers when it comes to the open marketplace.

Once the open marketplace is shut off in Asia, buyers will no longer be able to access the inventory of SCMP. Buyers are advised to set up deals as soon as possible to maintain access to the company's audience.

“We are committed to providing the best possible results for our clients. Agnostic buying channels enable supply path optimisation and access to persistent user IDs that work across all platforms with granular first-party data so that we can optimise clients' campaigns to any KPI,” said Ian Hocking, vice president of digital at SCMP.

SCMP cited a study conducted by ISBA and PwC in the UK, which showed that up to 50% of media cost was lost in the supply chain of programmatic. It suggested that building direct relationships with publishers will help significantly reduce this wastage, meaning more advertising dollars can drive ROI.

Also, there will be another significant reduction in the open marketplace efficiencies for buyers when the third-party cookie is deprecated and access to Apple's IDFA restricted next year. The ID not only helps identify users across domains but also is the central mechanism that allows buyers to apply data sets, build retargeting pools and apply frequency caps.

“We’re excited to offer the highest level of service to our clients whether it is our new real-time self-service dashboards that monitor campaign performance, or having a team of experts to help troubleshoot and educate the industry. We believe that focusing on deals will ultimately help to drive ROI for our clients," Hocking added.

SCMP launched two tools earlier this year to strengthen its offerings. In June 2020, SCMP Lighthouse was launched to offer clients, brands and agencies a unified persistent ID for more than 80% of its users and more than 2,000 targetable attributes that may be combined into scaled audiences.

The company also launched proprietary brand safety and suitability tool SCMP Signal, which was built into the CMS, allowing SCMP to ensure brand safety across the site while analysing all content for context, sentiment, readability and keywords.

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