Smart Adserver, a publisher-focused ad server and supply-side platform (SSP), has today announced it is rebranding to Equativ. The move comes as Smart Adserver fully combines with LiquidM and DynAdmic, two ad tech companies it acquired in 2019 and 2021 respectively. The new name reflects a shift in positioning for the company, away from being primarily a sell-side business, toward being an end-to-end ad tech business.
“The Equativ name reinforces the equal way in which the company treats clients; promoting openness, fairness, and accountability within the industry,” the company said in a statement. “Equativ facilitates direct interaction between buyers and sellers while offering a less complex, more transparent, and efficient advertising journey that benefits the entire value chain.”
Equativ says that Smart Adserver was already cooperating closely with LiquidM, a demand-side platform (DSP) and DynAdmic, a specialist in contextual targeting and connected TV, prior to the rebrand. Now however, the three will formally operate as one business – Equative described the change as a relaunch of its global presence.
“The Equativ brand represents the true integration of our teams under a single unified entity,” said Arnaud Créput, Equativ’s CEO.
Independence and SPO in the spotlight
Independence has always been a key selling point for Smart Adserver – which actually started life as an in-house ad server for a digital media company, before spinning off. It established itself as a viable alternative to Google’s Ad Manager, for those concerned about Google’s potentially anticompetitive practices. And independence will continue to be a key theme for Equative.
The company said in its announcement that it “remains committed to supporting the open web by offering the digital advertising ecosystem a scaled, independent alternative to monopolistic walled-garden platforms”.
But Equativ will also tout itself on its ability to connect up supply and demand in a straightforward manner – essentially helping buyers with their supply-path optimisation efforts.
“This evolution answers the open web’s need for an efficient marketplace where both supply and demand coexist and interact end to end on our platform while respecting the consumer,” said Créput. “We provide the industry with a complete range of tools and expertise to take back control of their advertising activities while ensuring transparency, privacy, first party data activation, better reporting, performance and cost efficiency. That’s been the promise of advertising technology from the early days. Equativ is dedicated to fulfilling that promise.”
Of course, the difficulty for solutions which serve both the buy-side and the sell-side is that it can be difficult to serve both sides equally. Buyers for example may question whether a tech partner will really get them the best bang for their buck when that same partner is also trying to help publishers maximise their revenues. And part of The Trade Desk’s success as a demand-side platform came from its positioning as solely serving buyers.
But Equativ believes it’s possible to tread this line, saying it will “harmonise market interests”. The notion seems to be that both advertisers and publishers are poorly served by the current ad tech infrastructure, meaning it’s possible to deliver improvements to both sides simultaneously.
“Ad tech promised to deliver value to publishers and advertisers by improving the efficiency and performance of digital advertising,” says Equativ. “The ad tech industrial complex hasn’t always met these expectations.”