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AdAge: Adland’s Battle Royale: Agencies Defend Turf As Ad Tech Moves In On Clients

Once Allies, Audience-Targeting Firms and Media and Digital Shops Are in Competition for Control and Clients

By By Alexandra Bruell, Tim Peterson

It was the late 2000s, and advertising agencies had spied their next great growth area: selling clients on an array of in-house audience-buying technologies, including their own online ad networks and exchanges. Agencies procured those technologies in a variety of ways. Some came through acquisitions, other services were homegrown. But a majority of the platforms many agencies used were licensed from third-party vendors.

And then a funny thing happened. Some of those vendors realized they didn’t really need the agencies.

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