Private Auctions

Invite buyers to bid on portions of inventory via a privately held auction


New Private Auction experience

Ad Manager might look a little different if you're using the new Private Auction user interface

Not seeing the new user interface? Jump below to the existing content by clicking here.


View related Skillshop training course

Private Auctions allow you to invite a set of buyers to bid on a portion of your inventory via an auction. You specify a minimum CPM floor price on a per-buyer basis, and that buyer must exceed that floor price in order to be eligible for the auction. The winner is determined using the same auction model that applies to the Open Auction.

Private Auctions hold general information about the portion of your inventory you want to make available for an auction. Once you start a Private Auction, you can invite buyers to participate. Each invite becomes a Private Auction deal with a single buyer.

Private Auctions can be found under Sales and then Private Auctions.

  • Per deal: The "Per deal" tab lists all currently running Private Auction deals per buyer with performance metrics.
  • Private Auctions: The "Private Auctions" tab lists unarchived Private Auctions.

Start Private Auctions

  1. Navigate to Sales and then Private Auctions.
  2. Click New Private Auction.
  3. Set up Private Auction settings.
  4. Click Save.

As soon as you save, the Private Auction is active and ready to invite buyers.

Change Private Auctions

Any setting of a Private Auction can be changed except inventory type.

  1. Navigate to Private Auctions by going to Sales and then Private Auctions.
  2. Find and click the name of a Private Auction.
  3. Click Gear Settings at the top of the page.

  4. Make changes and click Save.

Archive or unarchive Private Auctions

Archiving an active Private Auction stops all running Private Auction deals in the Private Auction.

To archive:

  1. Navigate to Private Auctions by going to Sales and then Private Auctions.
  2. Click the Private Auctions tab. (Archiving is not possible under the Per deal tab.)
  3. Select the Private Auctions you want to archive.
  4. Click Archive above the table of Private Auctions.

To unarchive:

  1. Navigate to Private Auctions by going to Sales and then Private Auctions.
  2. Click the Private Auctions tab.
  3. Filter for archived Private Auctions.
  4. Select the Private Auctions you want to unarchive.
  5. Click Unarchive above the table of Private Auctions.

Private Auction deals must be set to Running again in unarchived Private Auctions.

Private Auction settings

Name 

Buyers see the name in the Marketplace. Choose something descriptive and inviting for buyers to participate.

Inventory type 

Kind of inventory or medium in which an ad serves. This helps buyers know where their creatives are intended to serve.

Select inventory type before defining ad unit targeting. Changing inventory type after targeting ad units removes the ad unit from targeting.

Terms 

Additional requirements to which you and the buyer must adhere. Consider using this field to communicate ad serving restrictions, such as competitive ad filters, content restrictions or blocks which apply to the campaign.

Open Auction optimization 

Allows bids from the Open Auction to compete concurrently with bids from the Private Auction. This options is enabled by default on new Private Auctions but can be deselected at any time. 

Ad Manager sets the floor price an Open Auction buyer needs to bid to win above the best Private Auction bid. The price set reflects gross revenue before potential earnings are calculated as net payments to you.

"Open Auction buyer optimization" does not appear with revenue estimates in Ad Manager reporting.

Ineligible bids submitted to the Open Auction

There are cases when a Private Auction bid is ineligible because the buyer submitted a creative with the bid that doesn't match inventory size targeting or because the buyer was filtered out by creative restriction settings in the Private Auction. In these cases, the buyer's bid is submitted with the same creative to the Open Auction, abiding by the Open Auction pricing and rules set in your network. Submitting the bid to the Open Auction increases the potential to maximize your overall revenue.

Similarly, if all the net bids are below the minimum price specified in a Private Auction, the inventory also becomes available in the Open Auction.

Targeting

The inventory you want to offer buyers in the Private Auction.

Inventory size targeting

If the inventory included in is multi-size and the buyer bids with a size that was not targeted, the bid is filtered. You can see bid responses or impressions that were filtered in Private Auction troubleshooting. Learn more

Branding 

Ad requests are triggered by visitors to your website or app. Brand settings allow you to control what buyers see about the origin of these ad requests from your digital properties.

  • Branded: exposes the full URL of where the ad request originated.
  • Semi-transparent: only shows the domain of the ad request.

For instance, an ad request may originate from:

example.com/sports/rugby

Setting your brand setting to "Semi-transparent" would only expose "example.com" to buyers. "Mobile app" inventory always transacts as branded. Semi-transparent is only available for "Display", "Video", and "Games".

Buyers may have controls or rules in place that determine when or if to bid based on ad request URLs.

End date 

Choose an optional end date for Private Auction bidding.

Estimated impressions per day 

Estimated impressions provides buyers with insight into potential reach for their bid.

Email contacts

Email addresses of internal staff you want notified when buyers accept the Private Auction. Emails listed here are visible to all buyers invited to the Private Auction.

Invite buyers

Every invite you send becomes a Private Auction deal with a single buyer in that Private Auction.

  1. Navigate to Private Auctions by going to Sales and then Private Auctions.
  2. Click the name of the Private Auction to which you want to invite buyers.
  3. Click Invite buyers.
  4. Set up the invite according to buyer invite options.
  5. Click Save.

You can invite the same buyer multiple times to a Private Auction, but each invite to the same buyer must include unique verified advertisers listed under "Creative restrictions". Separate invites are sent out to each buyer or each buyer with unique verified advertisers.

Buyer invite options

Floor price

The minimum CPM floor price buyers must exceed in order to be eligible for the auction.

Override blocks 

Blocks are "Ad content" protections that help you protect your brand by restricting how, where, or which ads can serve on your websites or apps. By default, these rules apply to each bid response. Bid responses that don't fall within the parameters of the "Ad content" rules set up in your network are automatically filtered.

You can opt to override these blocks. Overriding blocks means that "Ad content" rules won't apply to bid responses from the buyer.

Creative restrictions

You can optionally declare verified advertisers that restrict the creatives that can serve. Recommended practice is to omit any advertiser (leave this field empty) to ensure the winning bid response serves a creative. Declaring an advertiser that is incorrect means that means that ads from the correct advertiser would fail to serveLearn more

You can invite the same buyer multiple times to a Private Auction, but each invite to the same buyer must include unique verified advertisers listed under "Creative restrictions". 

Private Auction deals

Each invite is considered a Private Auction deal tied to a deal ID. Private Auction deals can be in any of one of several statuses. You can review the status of each deal under the first column of a Private Auction.

Icon Status description

Pending acceptance

Invite sent and awaiting the buyer to accept this Private Auction deal.

Running

Buyer accepted and can bid in this Private Auction deal.

Stopped

Buyer will not receive bid requests for this Private Auction deal.

Change Private Auction deals

  1. Navigate to Private Auctions by going to Sales and then Private Auctions.
  2. Click the name of the Private Auction.
  3. Find the Private Auction deal you want to change.
  4. Click the name of the buyer.
  5. Change Private Auction deal options.
  6. Click Save.

Stop Private Auction deals

  1. Navigate to Private Auctions by going to Sales and then Private Auctions.
  2. Click the name of the Private Auction.
  3. Find the Private Auction deal you want to stop.
  4. Click  to open the "Status" menu.
  5. Select  Stopped.

The buyer can no longer bid under this Private Auction deal.

Restart a stopped Private Auction deals

  1. Navigate to Private Auctions by going to Sales and then Private Auctions.
  2. Click the name of the Private Auction.
  3. Find the Private Auction deal you want to restart.
  4. Click  to open the "Status" menu.
  5. Select  Running.

Cancel invite to Private Auctions

To cancel an invite to Private Auction deal:

  1. Navigate to Private Auctions by going to Sales and then Private Auctions.
  2. Click the name of the Private Auction.
  3. Find the Private Auction deal with the invite you want to cancel.
  4. Click  to open the "Status" menu.
  5. Select Cancel invite.

The Private Auction deal is removed from the Private Auction and the buyer is no lover invited under that Private Auction deal.

Monitor Private Auction deals

The "Per deal" tab lists all currently running Private Auction deals per buyer. In addition to floor price, the table shows performance metrics:

  • 7 day ad requests
  • 7 day matched impressions
  • 7 day revenue lift  (Beta) 

From the table, you can also navigate to Private Auction troubleshooting. Troubleshooting provides details on a per-deal basis. Click View under the "Troubleshooting" column. Learn more

 

 

 


Previous Private Auction experience

The following instructions and behavior reflect the previous Private Auction experience.

 


 

Private Auctions allow you to offer inventory to selected buyers who can bid on that inventory. You can set a minimum CPM floor price. Private Auctions increase competition while limiting premium inventory in your network to trusted buyers.

Ineligible bids submitted to the Open Auction

There are cases when a Private Auction bid is ineligible because the buyer submitted a creative with the bid that doesn't match inventory size targeting or because the buyer was filtered out by creative restriction settings in the Private Auction. In these cases, the buyer's bid is submitted with the same creative to the Open Auction, abiding by the Open Auction pricing and blocking rules set in your network. Submitting the bid to the Open Auction increases the potential to maximize your overall revenue.

Similarly, if all the net bids are below the minimum CPM price specified in a Private Auction, the inventory also becomes available in the Open Auction.

Create Private Auctions

To create a new Private Auction:

  1. Click Sales and then Private auction.
  2. Click New private auction.
  3. Enter a descriptive name that clearly identifies the inventory and follows conventions of your organization.
  4. Select an environment. Environment (also known as an "Ad Exchange property" or "web property") identifies the format of inventory or "channel" in which ads serve.
    Select environment before defining ad unit targeting. Changing environment after targeting ad units removes the ad unit targeting.
  5. In the "Terms" field, you may specify additional terms to which you and the buyer must adhere.

    Consider using this field to communicate ad serving restrictions, such as competitive ad filters, content restrictions or blocks which apply to the campaign.

  6. Under "Allowed buyers and pricing", Allow Open Auction buyer optimization is enabled by default, which can maximize revenue through increased competition. Learn more

    Under this section, you can create different sets of buyers. To add sets of buyers, click + Add another buyer.

    Each set is attached to:

    • A minimum CPM price.
    • An "Override blocks" setting.
    • Creative restriction. Recommended practice is to omit any advertiser (leave this field empty) to ensure the winning bid response serves a creative. Indicating an advertiser that is incorrect means that ads could fail to serve. Learn more
  7. Under "Targeting", define the inventory being offered in the Private Auction. Learn more
  8. "Additional settings" are optional and allow you to associate a Private Auction to a publisher profile, configure branding, set an end date, and enter estimated impressions per day. Learn more
  9. Click Save.

Once you save, the Private Auction becomes available as a proposal for the buyers to accept. See Accepted proposals.

Accepted proposals

For every combination of selected buyers or clients, a proposal is generated. Buyers or their clients must accept each proposal to start transacting. 

  • In order for clients to view Private Auction proposals, buyers must explicit grant permission to them. 
  • Clients cannot view proposals addressed to only the buyer. They can only see proposals addressed addressed directly to them (and their buyer). 
  • Buyers can view all Private Auction proposals addressed to the buyer or any of their clients.

Accepted proposals are listed under "Allowed buyers and pricing"  and then "Private Auction Buyers" section of a Private Auction. You can edit details for each proposal by clicking Edit.

Each accepted proposal gives you a summary of how the Private Auction is transacting. This summary includes:

  • Floor price
  • 7-day match rate
  • 7-day revenue lift  (Beta) 
  • 7-day ad requests

From each proposal, you can also choose to Stop deal or Resume deal

If you want to make the entire Private Auction unavailable, you can select it from the list of Private Auctions and click Archive. Archiving ends all transactions and stops ad serving.

Each proposal also also provides access to Deal Check in order to troubleshoot under performing Private Auctions.

Add inventory targeting

Define the inventory being offered in the Private Auction. Inventory targeting options include:

  • Ad units
  • Placements
  • URLs
  • Geography
  • Inventory sizes
  • Key/values
  • Operating systems
  • Device categories
  • Inventory bundles
  • Tags (deprecated)

Targeting by inventory size

If the inventory included in the deal is multi-size and the buyer bids with a size that was not negotiated in the deal, the bid will be filtered. You can see bid responses or impressions that were filtered from your available impressions and learn more about what you or the buyer can do using Deal Check. Learn more

Selecting targeting criteria

Some good things to keep in mind when selecting Private Auction targeting:

All inventory is included by default except for Preferred Deals and Private Auctions. This means all targeting is included when no targeting is specified in any category. Once targeting is specified in a category, however, only that value is targeted for that category, excluding everything else in the category. For instance, including "300x250" in the "Sizes" category only targets 300x250 and excludes all other sizes.

Preferred Deals and Private Auction size requirement

For Preferred Deals and Private Auctions, you need to include at least one size in the "Size" category. This allows buyers to understand size requirements for their creatives. If you want to target all sizes, include them all in this category.

Selecting multiple criteria within the same category results in OR logic. For example, click include on the "United States" and "Canada" criteria in the "Geography" category to receive callouts for impressions that are either from the United States or Canada.

Selecting multiple criteria across different categories results in AND logic. For example, click include on the "300x250" criterion in the "Inventory sizes" category, and include on the "United States" and "Canada" criteria in the "Geography" category to receive callouts for impressions that are for 300x250 inventory and from either from the United States or Canada.

When using key-values, the keys are effectively treated as categories. Different keys use AND logic, whereas multiple values for a single key use OR logic. For example, specifying pos=1;cat=sport,news means: (pos = 1) AND ((cat=sport) OR (cat=news))

Only exact matches are supported for keys. You cannot use special characters such as an asterisk (*) or tilde (~) for broader key-value targeting.

Additional settings

Additional settings are optional and allow to configure things like branding, end date, and estimated impressions per day.

  • Associate the Private Auction with a publisher profile. Publisher profiles allow you to brand inventory differently across your network
  • Designate this auction to display your inventory as branded or semi-transparent.

    Choose Branded to expose the full URL to buyers. Choose Semi-transparent to show buyers a truncated version of the URL, displaying only the top-level domain.

    Mobile app inventory always transacts as branded. Semi-transparent is only available for desktop and mobile web.

  • Enter the estimated end date. 
  • Enter the estimated impressions per day to help with troubleshooting under preforming Private Auctions.
  • Add emails under + Add deal email or + Add account email.
Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?