David Levy Named CEO of Open AP Audience-Targeting Alliance

Fox, Viacom and NBCUniversal named David Levy, a Fox executive who has been involved with digital advertising and processes, as chief executive of Open AP, an alliance the three companies have to help advertisers align their commercials with specific audiences.

Levy has served as chairman of the group’s board of directors since 2018.

Naming a CEO would indicate the three companies see the group as an important force going forward. WarnerMedia, which was a founding member of Open AP, said last month it would withdraw from the organization, seeing a chance to monetize the practice known as “audience buying” under its new parent, AT&T. Open AP helps to establish unified definitions of audience segments, so that an advertiser can place commercials in front of a particular swath of consumer – a first-time car buyer, for example, or an expectant mother – no matter the company with which it is dealing.

“OpenAP was formed to rise above competition and create solutions that will change the way our entire industry functions. There’s so much work to done, but we’ve made incredible strides and we’re going to continue to develop the transparent audience-based cross-platform buying solutions that we need to operate,” said Levy in a statement.  “I’ve been deeply involved with OpenAP since its inception, and I’m thrilled to now be taking on a larger role within the organization leading OpenAP’s efforts to revolutionize the advertising ecosystem.”

Levy is the co-founder and chief operating officer of true[X] media, a company that specializes in advertising products for digital audiences, and that was purchased by the former 21st Century Fox in 2015 and was led by Joe Marchese, an executive who eventually won a stint as president of Fox”s ad-sales efforts. Following true[X]’s acquisition, Levy was promoted to executive vice president, overseeing all digital revenue, advanced ad products, and operations across Fox’s television brands, including the Fox Network, Fox Sports, FX, National Geographic.

“We recognize that standardization and collaboration — across measurement, targeting, and more — is critical for our individual businesses and the entire industry, and that’s why we’re doubling down on our commitment to the future of OpenAP. If we build together, we are all stronger, and OpenAP embodies this spirit. David Levy has stewarded OpenAP since its creation, and we’re honored to have him now join us as CEO to help shape the new era of audience-based media buying. With David at the helm, the future of OpenAP — and of the industry as a whole — looks very bright.” said Meredith Brace, executive vice president of client solutions and portfolio marketing, Fox; Krishan Bhatia, executive vice president of business operations and strategy, NBCUniversal; and John Halley, executive vice president and chief operating officer, ad solutions, Viacom, said in a joint statement.

Open AP launched in 2017, and includes Univision as a member.

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