How to use Flashtalking tags in Google Ad Manager (DFP) as a publisher

Working in the publisher side of ad ops, you may be asked to traffic campaigns using various third-party ad tags. One of the most common third-party ad servers is Flashtalking, and fortunately it is relatively simple to set up a Flashtalking campaign in Google Ad Manager (formerly known as Doubleclick for Publishers or DFP).

Ad Manager Flashtalking

1. In the Flashtalking tag generation page

Most likely the client or their agency will give you a URL beginning http://www.flashtalking.net/tags/?. This page lets you both set some simple options and generate the tags, as well as seeing a preview of the creative.

Options available include escaping the click variable or add tracking for expandable ads, but in my experience - admittedly with rather simple campaigns - the default options work fine with Google Ad Manager.

If the campaign includes multiple sets of tags (eg one tag for each different size of ad), these will be listed on the left.

Once you have both selected your tag and chosen your options, click the blue UPDATE TAG button to, you guessed it, update the tag in the box below. This can be copied and pasted for use in Google Ad Manager.

Flashtalking tag example

Click 'UPDATE TAG' and the tag below will... update

(NB it's also possible that the client will generate the tags for you and simply supply them in CSV format. That's a bit less useful because you can't see a preview of the creative, for example.)

2. In Google Ad Manager

Sign in to Google Ad Manager and set up your order and line item as usual, including inventory selection. I'm going to go assume this is all fine and go straight on to the 'New creative' step.

As I write this, Google Ad Manager is transitioning to what it calls the "New Ad Manager experience" - accounts are being moved over to a redesigned UI. One of my accounts is already on the new experience while another is still on the old for the time being.

However, either way, you will want to choose the Third Party option in New Creative. As Google Ad Manager says in the old experience, "you can use any custom HTML and JavaScript snippets as well as tags from a third-party ad server".

Give your new creative a Name and then paste your Flashtalking tag into the Code snippet (old experience)/Code type (new experience) box. All being well, Google Ad Manager will say "We recognise this as a tag from Flashtalking". You may also be prompted to Insert Macros. Here's what that looks like in the new Ad Manager experience:

Flashtalking new creative

If you do not insert macros when prompted, you will not be able to track clicks in Google Ad Manager. The client should be able to track clicks in Flashtalking - however you will be reliant on their reporting and will not be able to challenge any questionable figures. So it's advisable to 'Insert macros' when prompted. After a couple of seconds, you should see the green "Macros have been inserted" success message.

That's it - save the creative and activate the campaign. That's what we're (Flash)talking about!

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