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CVS Takes On Amazon, Walmart Launch A New Ad Network

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CVS has pitched ad buyers and marketers on a new ad network, which will be known as the CVS Media Exchange, according to two buyers who asked for anonymity. The offering will be fully managed services with ad placements on, including display and search, as well as off-site placements on Google, Facebook and Instagram that use CVS data.

“They’re saying they can do it all,” said a media buyer with knowledge of the CVS pitch, adding that it goes beyond the usual media placements. “They’re layering on creative services, saying they can help you with creative and strategy. They’ve even got a full dynamic creative offering. That’s not something you typically see out the gate. [When you see that] it’s usually a more sophisticated offering.”

It’s unclear exactly when CVS Media Exchange will launch, but the company has been pitching the offering to agencies in recent weeks, according to a second buyer.

“CVS has been testing a Digital Media Exchange platform with select suppliers to create meaningful ways to connect with customers and drive measurable results both in store and online,” said a company spokeswoman in a statement, adding that the company is evaluating what it has learned so far to “evolve and expand the program and launch later this year.”

According to one of the ad buyers, CVS is leaning on its first-party data through its loyalty program in its pitch, touting “robust” reporting capabilities and a “closed-loop” measurement system that would allow brands to attribute sales to ads placed with the retailer. CVS joins other retailers like Best Buy, Wayfair, Walmart and Target, among others, in building out its retail ad business. Doing so has come as a crackdown on the third-party cookie has made first-party data that retailers can offer advertisers more appealing.

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