Foundations for Building a Retail Media Network

ANA Law & Public Policy Virtual Conference attendees: Scroll down for CLE materials

Representatives from Albertsons Companies, Inc. and Reed Smith LLP shared key takeaways and learnings from their recent venture developing Albertsons Companies' retail media network, providing insight into how both the brand and its legal team can work together to navigate the legal risks and operational challenges of setting up and managing these emerging platforms.

Key Takeaways

What is a Retail Media Network?
A Retail Media Network (RMN) is essentially the transformation of a retailer's digital presence from a more traditional shopping website/app to a place where media inventory is offered to advertisers. RMN's leverage retailer consumer data to optimize advertisers' reach and relevance when placing ads in the retailer-owned advertising ecosystem. Brands can place individual ads or work with the retailer on co-branded activations.

For retailers interested in building an RMN, the key question they need to ask themselves is if the potential revenue earned via selling advertising offsets the costs of building and managing a robust advertising ecosystem, which will be significant in many cases.

In the instance of Albertsons, building an RMN has been a huge boost to the business, with revenue margins about 20 times higher than Albertsons' traditional revenue stream. Albertsons feels its RMN has also improved customers' experience by serving them more relevant ads.

RMNs are expected to be big business in the years ahead. In 2022, RMNs are expected to reach $30 billion in terms of annual business.

How Legal and Business Can Work in Tandem on RMNs

It is essential to involve legal from an early stage in the development and management of your RMN. Legal can provide insight into what is and is not allowed from a number of different areas, including:

  • Insertion Order Terms: As developing an RMN means turning your retail business into an advertising platform, legal can help guide the process for drafting insertion order terms and ensuring deals struck with brand partners are done so in a scrupulous manner.
  • Customer Content Development: Legal can provide guidance that ensures ads or content found on the RMN doesn't run afoul of IP or copyright restrictions.
  • Media Policies: Policies related to issues like fraud, competitive separation, brand safety, viewability, analytics and tagging, and results reporting should all be crafted by the legal team.
  • Advertising Policies: Here legal should review in depth issues related to ad content, offering compliance, and regulatory guidelines.

CLE Materials


"Foundations for Building a Retail Media Network." Monique Bhargava, partner at Reed Smith LLP; Claire Wyatt, head of audience, measurement, and analytics at Albertsons Companies, Inc.; Millie Yeo, senior counsel of digital, technology, and innovation at Albertsons Companies, Inc. ANA Law & Public Policy Virtual Conference, 4/27/22.

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