Expedia.ca's Advertising Partners

I was booking a flight and car through expedia.ca today, and, as I blocked cookies from site after site, I became curious what they all did. The list that follows doesn't include the sites I've found that are actually necessary for the functioning of expedia.ca. And the explanations, such as they are, are mostly harvested from the websites named on the cookies (although I lopped off all subdomains and only kept the last two words, ie. "a.rfihub.com" became "rfihub.com"). This will be about as exciting as watching grass grow for most people, but I'm actually kind of interested, and curious to see how this will evolve a decade from now. I suspect by then it will be both harder to block and harder to figure out what these sites are trying to achieve.

  • rfihub.com: website non-responsive. whois points to DomainsByProxy. About the best that I can do on this one is that it may be based in Houston, Texas ... and even the people putting ads on their websites don't seem to know why rfihub.com is showing up on their sites.
  • btrll.com: "Server not found." whois: "Registrant Organization: BrightRoll." "We build technology that automates video advertising globally. DEMAND SIDE PLATFORM: Advertisers access over 99% of online video viewers with our DSP. MARKETPLACE: Buying or selling video inventory? Connect with the industry's largest marketplace."
  • tapad.com: "Unify Life Across Devices: Life is continuous. Your experiences across screens should be, too. Tapad's powerful algorithms and revolutionary technology deliver the highest possible probability that devices are related. The results: deeper engagement, a more enriched experience and better returns."
  • adnxs.com: "Adnxs™ is a portal for Publishers to the AppNexus® online auction exchange used to sell advertising space. For information about Adnxs™, AppNexus®, AdNexus®, or any other product or service of AppNexus®, please contact sales at ..."
  • pubmatic.com: "Competitive Benchmarking: The industry's first solution to offer Publishers actionable competitive insights."
  • demdex.net: redirects to an Adobe property: "Adobe Audience Manager. Build audience profiles that you can use anywhere. What is Adobe Audience Manager? It’s a data management platform that helps you build unique audience profiles so you can identify your most valuable segments and use them across any digital channel."
  • nanigans.com: "Multichannel Advertising Automation Software. Take control of your digital advertising. Best-in-class ad automation SaaS for in-house performance marketing teams."
  • doubleclick.net: (has been around several millennia in advertising terms) redirects to "DoubleClick by Google. Realize what's possible with digital. DoubleClick connects the right people, in the right moments, to make digital advertising work better."
  • turn.com: "Customers evolve. Now your brand can evolve with them. The Turn Digital Hub for Marketers lets you plan, activate, and optimize campaigns from a single platform."
  • tribalfusion.com: (has been around several millennia in advertising terms) redirects to exponential.com: "Real Audiences - Intelligently connect with more than 600M users globally across desktop and mobile. Real Engagement - Create compelling brand experiences with user-centric video ad formats. Real Performance - Optimize ad effectiveness based upon a deeper understanding of all user interactions"
  • acuityplatform.com: 404. whois points to 5775 Yonge Street in Toronto(!) and acuityads.com: "Acuity named as one of the fastest growing technology companies in North America. Target and connect intelligently. We intelligently connect you with your audience through real-time data-driven optimization." "Our programmatic marketing platform was built by people who are passionate about finding intelligent ways for advertisers to connect with consumers. Since opening our doors in 2009, we’ve grown from a 7 person business to a public company with presence in Toronto, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Portland. Let our team of Optimization Specialists manage your campaigns from start to finish. For those who prefer a more hands on approach, ask about our self-serve solution that allows you to bring your programmatic buying in-house."
  • rubiconproject.com: "Leading the automation of advertising. SELLERS: grow revenue from top brands around the globe. ADVERTISING AUTOMATION CLOUD: real-time, data-driven automation for auctions and direct orders. BUYERS: access the world's leading publishers and applications."
  • mookie1.com: "Mastering Digital Markets. Media Innovation Group delivers a durable business advantage in media markets being transformed by technology. We provide marketing communicators with a single access point to every digital audience, and the technology platform to engage them in startling new ways. We arm the chief marketing officer and the agency brand strategist with superior market knowledge, more actionable intelligence about how brands are performing, and the ability to wield hundreds of disparate channels as a single strategic instrument."
  • adsrvr.org: 404. whois points to DomainsByProxy. ad.adsrvr.org points to thetradedesk.com: "We Power The Most Sophisticated Buyers In Advertising."
  • amgdgt.com: "Server not found." whois: "Registrant Organization: Adconion Media, Inc" They appear to be an "Internet Marketing Service." They have a presence on GooglePlus, Facebook, various other places ... but evidently no homepage.
  • openx.net: Apache 2 test page on CentOS. whois points to openx.org, which bounces to openx.com. "A Discussion Guide for Private Marketplaces: how to set up deals for success." "Ad Technology Suite: OpenX creates highly efficient, high quality programmatic advertising markets that deliver optimal value to buyers and sellers and evolves rapidly to support the growth of the digital economy across screens and formats. Find out more about our Unified Monetization Platform."

Interesting insights from this slog through marketing-speak:

  • this is a lot of advertising and cookies
  • a Microsoft property (Expedia) uses a Google product
  • they're using multiple methods of achieving the same ends - they'd call it "covering your bets," but it's also called "slowing the page load"
  • some of this is aimed at improving the user experience
  • all of it is aimed at learning more about their customers - which means prying away your privacy