Audience Partners Patents What it Calls ‘Holy Grail’ of Political Advertising

Originally Published in Campaigns and Elections

Audience Partners has received a patent on its cookie-voter file matching technology.

The patent, which the company filed for in August 2011, could have major financial implications for Audience Partners and its rivals if the company is able to enforce it. Political advertising is expected to hit $6 billion for the 2014 midterms, with only half of that going to television, according to an industry estimate.

With so much money flowing into digital advertising, Audience Partners hinted it would seek to enforce its patent. “This patent is significant because it recognizes Audience Partners as an innovator in the field of political and advocacy advertising,” stated Rich Masterson, the company’s co-founder and chairman.

The company said it’s the first in the ad-tech industry to “use a voter file to target ads by leveraging programmatic ad buying systems and real-time bidding (RTB).”

“For several campaign cycles, thousands of advertisers and media companies have used our innovative ad platform that allows political campaigns, PACs and advocacy groups to target ads to a highly customizable subset of voters,” Jeff Dittus, CEO and co-founder of Audience Partners said in a news release. “We help advertisers and campaigns minimize waste and maximize the impact of their ad dollars by targeting only those voters relevant to the campaign.”

The company’s patented technology provides advertisers with access to billions of proprietary cookies and some 100 million anonymous cellphone and tablet IDs. The technology uses publicly available voter registration records and political demographic data such as party affiliation, voting history and political geography to target and place advertising and messaging across millions of websites, mobile apps and multiple digital devices including addressable TVs.

“We have invested millions of dollars into our solution and feel like we have built the ‘Holy Grail’ of political advertising,” Dittus said. “Our patented system and methodology allows political advertisers to accurately micro-target digital ads driven by voter registration records and hundreds of other characteristics, while respecting privacy.”