Advanced Ad 2019: Turner Departure From OpenAP a 'Mistake'

New York -- A panel of top network advertising executives said Turner’s decision to drop out of advanced ad consortium OpenAP was a “mistake,” adding that with a new CEO and an industry vet helping out with new products, the group is poised to take the next step.

Turner was one of the companies -- with Fox and Viacom -- that helped found OpenAP about a year ago. The company dropped out of the consortium in April, saying in a statement that as the company has transformed, its advanced ad strategy has evolved. Since then NBCUniversal has joined the group.

At the afternoon keynote presentation -- OpenAP 2.0 -- at the Programmatic TV Summit in New York City on Monday, NBCUniversal SVP advanced advertising products and strategy Denise Colella said with a new CEO and new products in the hopper at OpenAP, Turner may end up regretting its decision to go it alone on the advanced ad front.

“I think they made a mistake,” Colella said of Turner’s decision to leave OpenAP. “I don’t think the market needs another closed marketplace. Them being part of OAP made us much stronger.”

Fox VP audience and automated sales Dan Callahan said the consortium holds no ill will toward Turner, and wished the company well in its advanced ad endeavors.

“We will compete as we always have,” Callahan said.

But he noted that advanced advertising continues to make strides, especially on the addressable and digital sides of the business.

And new products are apparently in the pipeline.

Although he didn’t want to reveal them, Viacom VP product management and data science Amarachi Miller said that new products are expected in the data area, and anything involving the sharing and positioning of information.

"There's a lot of things in the chamber," Miller said. "We'll see where it goes."

Colella added that cross platform and addressable ad products should be a focus, adding that a lot depends on how fast the consortium is moving, what it’s team is and what the demand is.

Colella said that with actual employees dedicated to OpenAP, the work is able to progress easier and faster. And that could mean more employees will be needed.

“A lot depends on the scale of accounts,” Colella said, adding that data scientists and account managers that can handle ad trafficking would likely be needed.

Helping out in that aspect could be former Fox EVP and chief product officer advanced advertising Ed Davis, who sources said is serving as a consultant to OpenAP. Davis is a former colleague of OpenAP CEO David Levy, who was named CEO in May. Levy was formerly an EVP at Fox, overseeing its digital ad revenue and advanced ad products.

Jon Lafayette contributed to this report