An Overview of Competitive Protection for Publishers

You are given the liberty to block specific kinds of ads from appearing when there are ads from other particularly highlighter advertisers, brands or categories are present. For instance, you might want to block a specific advertiser from purchasing inventory across Ad Manager or Ad Exchange owing to an agreement with a competing advertiser or a direct deal.

How does Competitive Protection work?

As a publisher, you can employ competitive protections to make custom groups of advertisers/ brands/ categories whose ads can or cannot be served together and allot  portions of your inventory where they cannot serve.

Ads that are from advertisers/ brands/ categories within the same group can serve at the same time and on the same page but ads from advertisers/ brands/ categories that belong in different groups are blocked, which means that they cannot serve together.

For instance, if you have an agreement with an Advertiser A and you do not wish to have any ads from his competing advertisers run, you can create a competitive advertiser protection and assign Advertiser A to its own group and the competitors to a different group within the same protection. So, if Advertiser A serves an ad to an ad unit that is designated within the protection, the ads from the competitors are blocked from serving at the same time.

Ad Manager competitive protections are applicable in Ad Exchange in real time. The former sends insights about the inventory and its protection to Ad Exchange and then Ad Exchange chooses ads that would meet the needs.

Where are competitive protections applicable?

Competitive protections are applicable to the following kinds of transactions-

  • Programmatic Guaranteed
  • Open Auctions
  • Private Auctions
  • First Look
  • Traditional

How to set up competitive protections?

  1. Once you sign into Google Ad Manager, you need to click on Protections. 
  2. Then you need to click on New Protections > Competition and name your competitive protection.
  3. The protection is applicable to all the inventory by default but if you wish to target specific inventory, you need to- 
  • Click on Add targeting and select items from the dropdown and make selections of what inventory you want to target.
  1. You have to make blocking groups now. The option for Multi- group block determines the number of blocking groups you will create. It can have one or multiple advertisers/brands/ categories. 

When you deselect- the protection is applicable within one group only. Next to “Group” select all the advertisers/brands/categories you do not want to be served together. 

Essentially, if supposedly, Advertiser A and Advertiser B are in the same group, they cannot serve ads together.

However, when you select- Advertisers/brands/categories that belong to different groups are blocked from serving ads together. Next to “If showing,” you have to choose the components that they will check for and if those components are showing ads on a page,they will not show ads from the components that you have selected in the “Block” group.

For instance, If the “If showing group” has Advertisers A and B and the “Block group” has Advertiser C, the pages that show ads from Advertisers A/B or both, would not show ads from Advertiser C.

  1. Click on the Save button.

You can also create competitive exclusions with labels, so the page with same line items, would not see line items from other advertisers that are given the same label.

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