Do yourself a favor and put it in the ad server! There are surely a few situations where hard-coding is the right move, but 99% of the time, you will be better off running EVERYTHING through the ad server. A tricky area is native and in-feed units. Often the advertiser will suggest placing the unit directly on the page. It sounds great in the moment and is often easier to get working. The problem, however, is that this may interfere with future campaigns. For example, suppose you’ve got in-feed video on every page. Then a deal comes along for 100% SOV (share of voice) on 5 pages. The advertiser likely does not want to share space with your in-feed video. You need to disable it of those 5 pages. If the video is hard-coded, you’ll be sending an email to your web developer. If the video is setup in your ad server, you can exclude it from certain pages with just a few clicks. As a website owner, it’s easy to think “I will never need to do that”, but if you’re doing significant volume or running direct campaigns, eventually you will and it’s great to be prepared.
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