April 13, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. MST, AMA with Rob Beeler, Chairman of AdMonsters



We’re live! Ask Rob your questions about advertising, ad tech, digital media or ad operations.

About Rob
Widely known as the Content Czar of AdMonsters for the past 8 years, Rob now plays the role of The Chairman, emceeing AdMonsters events, advising the brand and contributing content. Rob is also founder of Beeler.Tech offering training, research and consulting services to the digital media community. He’s been either doing ad operations or talking about it for over 20 years having started at Advance Internet as the only Ad Operations person and developed a department of 15 people in 8 locations across the country responsible for operations, project management, business development, web analytics and financial reporting, becoming Executive Director of Ad Operations and Analytics in early 2007.

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Note: This is the actual AMA thread! Please place your questions in the thread below for Rob.


Rob wants to know!

Are you tracking your ads Viewability and Engagement?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters


Hey there! Excited for my first AMA and looking forward to your questions. My bio above should give you some sense of what I do, but perhaps doesn’t explain why I do what I do. I clearly remember my first day in ad operations and wondering what I had gotten myself into. Instead of quitting, I set out to delegate and automate all the parts of my job I didn’t want to do and my career was born. As I met more people in ad operations (mostly at AdMonsters), I realized that what I really enjoy doing is helping people in operations roles succeed which is why I started working for AdMonsters and now in addition am offering training and consulting services.

One area of focus for me which aligns very well with what Sovrn does as a company and in this community is to understand what “winning” looks like to digital publishers. We all work very hard every day, but to what end? Hopefully based on your questions, I can weave that concept of winning for publishers into the mix.

So that’s it. Turn on the fire hose. Hit me!


Hi Rob- Thanks for being our featured AMA guest today - we’re so excited!
I’ll be moderating the AMA for our community. To piggy back on what you mentioned in your intro, let’s kick off the discussion with the question, “What separates ‘winning’ Publishers from the rest of the pack?”

Publishers - please ask your Qs to Rob - let’s get this conversation going!



Rob, what is a hot topic or trend that you’re following that you think could be a game changer going forward?

Gary Gait


Celesta, that really is the question. For me, winning is having greater control over your business. That means not only knowing who your clients are (both advertisers and users), but having a relationship with them. I think too many pubs lack a meaningful relationship with their advertisers and their users and therefore are subject to forces to which they have little control. I look at companies like The Washington Post who doesn’t sit back and let things happen without being involved. The cool part is that ad operations people can play a big part in that definition of winning. Who else knows the actual insides of the business like ad ops?


Hey @RobBeeler - great to see you.


I was in a meeting yesterday and a colleague told me that he’s consulting to NYIAX. He claims that once it gets it’s next round of funding, it is primed to not only disrupt online advertising but put a large percentage of existing ad agencies out of business. While I’m sure most of this was hyperbole, I’m curious about your thoughts.


Thanks Gary. Long time fan. :slight_smile: There are various layers to the question of game changing meaning that at one level something like header bidding has been game changing, but I doubt the President of CBS views that as anything more than a blip on the radar. I’m really watching/waiting for the big clean up needed in programmatic. It’s too easy for bad players to get in and it’s spooking advertisers. My hope is some of these initiatives like digitrust and TAG and others start to get some real traction and that brings more trust back to digital advertising. I think the other thing I’m thinking about is something Gary Vaynerchuk is focused on which is attention and engagement. As a person, I limit who I allow to have my attention at any given time. Advertising isn’t aligned with that right now. I’d like to see us move in that direction.


NYIAX is definitely on my radar of companies to watch. We often equate programmatic trading to financial trading, but this is taking that whole concept to the next level. Interesting that he feels they will put ad agencies out of business. Sure, more brands are taking control over how their media is bought and sold, but as things grow more complex, having a 3rd party manage media spend seems to me to make sense. In the NYIAX case, I think it requires a skill set that I’m not sure agencies have in house. They’ll need to develop it or to your colleague’s point, they’ll see their brands go elsewhere.


Hi Rob, what’s the one thing you would challenge publishers to do differently in 2017?


Hi Rob-
Following up with your points about bad programmatic players and cleaning up the industry. Walter, our CEO just wrote about the need to clean up programmatic advertising.
(Stepping up to the plate on trust and transparency)

How do you think we as an industry can build the trust and accountability?


There are no kids around, right? :slight_smile: Publishers need to grow a pair. Too often they partner with companies who aren’t really their partners. An analogy I’ve been thinking about is a publisher as a pizza shop. If you are responsible for keeping the lights on, paying employees, buying the ingredients and making the pizzas, why would you let people come in and tell you what they are willing to pay and sometimes sell it below what it costs you to make? Oh, some of your customers by the way are taking the recipe for your special pizza as they walk out the door. I would challenge publishers to start to realize that not every impression is worth serving and be more selective on who they work with to drive their business.


Thanks Celesta for pointing this article out. Walter is spot on and the article is a must read. Our industry loves to talk a good game about brand safety while not practicing what we preach. I think initiatives like TAG are a good start once people buy in and live by it. I think people could argue that for programmatic to take off in the early days we needed to open the doors wide so we could scale up. In the process, we’ve made it easy for bad players to thrive in our world and it’s costing us. I think it’s time to be more stringent on who our partners are and what they deliver.


Hey Rob,

At what point do publishers and the supply side start holding demand more accountable for the creatives they serve and advertisers they work with?

We are the publisher facing entity and the ones who face scrutiny for malvertising and bad creatives. Sovrn has made headway by partnering with Confiant and scanning ads pre-bid, however, shouldn’t demand be held more accountable and be responsible for scanning and cleaning their creatives?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.


Following up on your discussion requesting Publishers to improve engagement and attention on the ads that are on their site, in the last year, we’ve noticed that there is a growing focus by Publishers on user experience. What advice do you give Publishers who are dependent on advertising to improve their user experience?


Great question, Alexander. So we know American Express and brands don’t create malware. The only way malware and bad creatives are getting into the ecosystem is because someone is letting them in. I think you are seeing a theme to my comments that we need initiatives like TAG and digitrust and start demanding as the brands are that you must know who you are doing business with. I think it’s time to go on the offensive instead of just defending. I wrote this article on AdMonsters some time ago, comparing ad ops and people like Sovrn to being stadium security: https://www.admonsters.com/blog/ad-ops-pat-down-creative-qa-process - shouldn’t we do more than pat people down?

PS: I’m racking up the analogy points today!


So tying this all together, focusing on user experience certainly sounds like a winning publisher strategy. I mean, shouldn’t the Internet be way cooler than it is right now? Imagine publishers creating some really meaningful experiences to either entertain or educate. Ads are a part of that experience and while people aren’t aware of it, the ads are what keep all this cool content free. So I think part of the the plan is informing consumers of this trade off (we serve ads, you don’t pay) as they roll out new experiences. I think measurement of your ad units (I know Sovrn has Onscroll) is key. But the measurement shouldn’t just be about viewability so more ads are seen, but user engagement as well as an eye out if the number of ads to the user’s experience is at the right level. I think the result are more meaningful ad placements that resonate for the advertiser as well as the consumer.


Adblocking has been a hot topic - resulting from the frustration from readers with ad clutter - and degrading their user experience. With the rise of Adblocking, more publishers are becoming savvy with ad-blockers. What are some ways you’ve seen Publishers work with to monetize and respect the desires of their AdBlocking readers?


Very comprehensive article, Rob. Thank you for your insight!