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Programmatic buying guide

When buying programmatically, the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF), Brand Safety tools, or other systems may raise questions.

On this page, we have collected instructions for situations that require great attention from the buyer.

Technology partners used in programmatic purchases (RTB & Programmatic Guaranteed) must be registered on the IAB TCF v2.0 vendor list and approved on Alma Media’s TCF v2.0 vendor list. The DSP will not send responses if the used vendors are not on these lists. Material and ad verification tools are examples of the most common technology partners.

  • Alma”s SSP: Xandr (Appnexus)
  • Auction type: 1st price auction
  • We recommend buying with a deal ID.

For more detailed instructions, please contact

Brand Safety & Brand Suitability

Using a third-party brand safety tool can reduce the reach of a campaign if the tool has not yet categorised a website or if it has been categorised incorrectly. Categorisation using third-party technologies is challenging both globally and on Finnish news sites. However, a third-party brand safety tool is not always necessary.

Alma applies a unique brand safety technology that blocks automatic advertising from articles categorised as shocking based on specific keywords. The technology analyses the headline and article content using machine-learning methods. Video content can also be analysed mechanically if Finnish is spoken in the video. If the keywords have a relevance level that is sufficient based on semantic categorisation, keywords will take effect.

In summary, Alma’s general brand safety tool blocks all advertising from articles categorised as shocking and harmful. However, it is good to keep in mind that this tool is never 100% perfect; for example, front pages cannot be categorised.

Defining a safe and suitable advertising context is always subjective. Individual brand suitability targeting can be tailored in accordance with an advertiser or buyer’s needs to supplement general brand safety. The best results are achieved through continuous evaluation; Alma’s experts are happy to help!

Remember these about Brand Safety!

  • Do not use Brand Safety parameters that are too extensive.
  • Make ad-specific evaluation – it is about brand suitability!
    • What is to me, as an advertiser, a safe advertising context?
    • A one-size-fits-all model does not exist.
  • Settings must be revised and updated in a constant cycle, even monthly.
    • Do not use outdated keywords or themes!
  • Know what technology you are using for Brand Safety.
    • Does the technology work without problems on all Finnish websites?
    • Do you use semantic Brand Safety or keyword lists?
  • When using keyword lists:
    • Review your keyword lists regularly. In general, we recommend at least monthly, or whenever there is an unusual news cycle, like the one we are in now.
    • If you do decide that keywords are a tool you’d like to leverage for protection during this crisis, be sure your keyword phrases are as precise as possible. Instead of a broad keyword like Coronavirus, consider the specific risks you want to avoid, such as Coronavirus mortality or Coronavirus death count.

Please contact with any of your brand suitability needs.

Troubleshooting deals

General instructions that are often applied:

  • Bid responses are being sent, but no sales are generated: The problem is often on the buyer’s (SSP) side.
  • Bid responses are not being sent: The problem is often in the buyer’s (DSP) campaign settings.

When a line item does not bid (bid responses are not being sent):

Check for the above-mentioned issues concerning TCF and brand safety. In addition, pay attention to the following settings in the purchase system:

  • The right inventory source is used (Appnexus/Xandr).
  • The deal was created with the right DSP seat ID.
  • The bid is in the right currency and takes the floor price and other possible costs (DSP fee, data, etc.) into account.
  • Check that the campaign’s strict audience, geo, or time targeting or retargeting are not limiting bidding.
  • Check domain targeting and possible lists of allowed or blocked sites.
  • Make sure that it is possible to bid with the buying algorithm settings (for example, CPC optimisation must have enough click data).

System-specific notes


Notice that many of DV360 purchasing system’s audience targeting options have limited functions outside of Google-based systems. Using these targeting options may entirely block bidding on inventory other than that purchased through Google Ad Manager.

In these cases, we recommend that we replace Google data with Alma’s 1st-party targeting data (demographic data and interest areas) on online visitors. For more information, please contact

Google Data 
Third Party AudienceTargeting works in all inventory sources.
GeographyTargeting works in all inventory sources.
Day and TimeTargeting works in all inventory sources.
Installed App CategoryTargeting works in all inventory sources.
New Mobile DeviceTargeting works in all inventory sources.
DemographicsAudience data can only be used to a limited extent outside of Ad Manager.*
Custom AffinityAudience data can only be used to a limited extent outside of Ad Manager.*
AffinityAudience data can only be used to a limited extent outside of Ad Manager.*
Similar/LookalikeAudience data can only be used to a limited extent outside of Ad Manager.**
In-MarketAudience data can only be used to a limited extent outside of Ad Manager.*
Custom IntentCan only be used in Ad Manager inventory.


*Google recommends using 1st-party data outside of Ad Manager.

RTB (Real-Time Bidding) deals

  • Alma’s deals are created in Xandr SSP with the buyer seat ID.
  • Deals are executed manually in DSP using a deal ID from Alma.
  • Exchange: Appnexus (Xandr)
  • When creating a deal, choose “New non-guaranteed inventory” + inventory type: private auction.

PG (Programmatic Guaranteed) deals

  • With PG deals, you can buy guaranteed inventory. For more information, please contact
  • Supported ad formats: display, native, and video
  • Targeting: Alma’s 1st-party data (demographic data and interest areas)
  • PG deals are campaign- and format-specific.
  • When creating a PG deal, choose “New guaranteed inventory”.
  • Exchange: Appnexus (Xandr)

Read more in the Xandr DV360 Buying Guide >>