Ad Manager

simple and fast,with better campaign results

In five years, DPG Media’s digital ad revenue has grown by 250% to over €190 million. This growth can partly be attributed to the effectiveness of our own independent DPG Network, which offers advertisers a trusted environment of quality journalism. In June 2023, the project was capped off with the launch of the Ad Manager self-service tool.

Merel Gianotten


The Ad Manager self-service tool, which offers a new way of buying ad space, is already being used by 70 advertisers. “With this launch, we’re giving advertisers the benefit of using self-service technology and data for procurement, but without the complex chain they’re used to at existing purchasing platforms. We’re offering our clients a huge improvement in terms of media value and campaign results,” says Merel Gianotten, DPG Media’s Director of Sales Development for Belgium and the Netherlands. “And because we don’t use third party cookies, advertisers will continue to have access to extensive targeting options on all our digital platforms. This is important, because those cookies will disappear this year.”

Full control

Advertisers now have full control over their campaigns. “Campaign launches are 30% faster in comparison to other platforms,” says Gianotten. “And the results are better as well. In addition, tests show that costs are up to 43% lower compared to existing procurement platforms.”

Ad Manager also gives advertisers the option of purchasing Seamless Ads. These are ads that blend in with the look and feel of the websites and apps, without compromising the distinction between editorial and commercial content. Users find these ads less distracting, leading to much better results for advertisers. Using the built-in design studio, creating ads is a quick and an effortless process.

Tech companies pocketing half of all media spending

Most digital media is sold through real-time auctions hosted by procurement platforms, where advertisers bid for space sold by vendors such as DPG Media. These procurement platforms are run by technology companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google. However, this market is so complex and fragmented that an opaque, expensive chain has emerged, with technology and data companies pocketing up to half of all media spending.

Multiple benefits

Ad Manager offers a number of advantages compared to established platforms. Most importantly, it gives users direct access to the digital advertising space of DPG Media’s brands and other affiliated partners, such as RTL, Talpa and Immoweb. Moreover, it helps advertisers find the right ad formats while also providing targeting options. “It’s all very quick and simple.”

Gianotten believes it is important that ads are always displayed alongside the quality content of DPG brands. “That’s what sets us apart from, say, social media platforms. Our readers and the users of our online platforms need reliable information, which we provide with our editorial content. Meanwhile, advertisers are looking for so-called ‘brand safe environments’, which we can also guarantee.”

Decathlon achieves strong results

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​DPG began piloting its new advertising network two and a half years ago with six early adopters, including Decathlon. The sports retailer achieved promising results with a campaign aimed at selling backpacks: the cost of bringing in a potential customer by getting them to click on an ad was five times lower compared to other platforms, and there was a six-fold reduction per pair of shoes or backpack sold. “By using Ad Manager,” says Gianotten, “Decathlon has been able to achieve unprecedented results with DPG Media.”

Ad Manager is the ideal tool for advertisers who prefer a more hands-on approach, but it’s still possible to buy ad space through an account manager as well, she explains. “It’s mainly intended for brands that want to buy space through a self-service platform and optimise their ads themselves. So they retain the convenience they’re used to while also benefiting from increased effectiveness, reliability and speed.”

Gianotten says she’s proud of the way various departments are working together on the platform. “There were a lot of teams involved, including people from Product, Sales, Data and ICT, so it’s great that we were able to contribute to such a great accomplishment. Innovation is always a bit daunting, but everyone has worked very hard on this with a clear goal in mind: to create a platform for advertisers that’s fast, easy to use and effective. And the results speak for themselves, as we’ve more than met our revenue target for 2023.”