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Infectious Media’s Ad Fraud Event

Analytics By: MarketingApr 3, 2018

On the 26th September 2017, Infectious Media hosted an Ad Fraud & Brand Safety event with special guest and Ad Fraud Consultant, Shailin Dhar.

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As programmatic buying becomes the norm in many countries, advertisers have been highlighting a number of risks to the quality of their campaigns. High-profile press on ad fraud, brand safety and viewability has led advertisers to question how to get the best value from programmatic.

In this event, we wanted to answer these 3 main topical questions:

  1. Is programmatic fundamentally riskier for brands than other media?
  2. Is ad fraud becoming an insurmountable problem in programmatic?
  3. Can advertisers mitigate these risks without harming performance?



Our Ad Fraud event was kicked off with our Global Partnerships Director, Dan Larden, who introduced the audience to the following content and the reasons why Ad Fraud is such a huge topic, with the initial start to the year's speech delivered by P&G's Marc Pritchard informing the world that P&G were no longer going to be involved within the "murky supply chain". Following this, more and more advertisers have increased their awareness to the risks inherent within advertising and are intent on fixing the media quality issue, but are not sure where to start. 


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Following Dan Larden, consultant and veteran of the ad fraud world, Shailin Dhar stepped up to deliver his best practice with the advertisers and publishers within the room, to help them better protect themselves against the increasing ad fraud & media quality issue.

Image uploaded from iOS (25).jpgShailin stated: "There is no consistent clean cut method of determining what source of traffic is good or bad. The reason 'bad' sources of traffic have grown is because the requirements of the buyers did not include things like viewability of bot detection filters, because the buyers of the ad-space did not have these requirements."

"Ad-Supply Partners can only and will only take action for future prevention if a customer makes them aware of it. Every business' product offering is developed around the needs of it's customers.

Shailin continued to inform the audience about what more advertisers can do to battle ad-fraud, starting with the most important, yet often overlooked issue of receiving full transparency from your agency. Advertisers must demand to see full data of their ad-campaigns to see exactly where their impressions are being served and where the clicks are being generated from. Dhar continued to say that advertisers should also demand answers on vendors methodologies: bot detection and verification, as well as their brand safety vendors - how does it all work and what exactly are they doing to fully protect your brand? 


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Following from Shailin's insights into the nature of ad fraud, how it started and what advertisers should do to avoid it, Infectious Media's Revenue Director, Pete Hanford, addressed the audience on how to balance safety, fraud and campaign performance. 
Pete informed the audience about how extreme whitelisting and overly tight media quality control can actually restrict campaign performance. Extreme whitelisting does not combat ad fraud, nor does it guarantee brand safety; it simply limits your audience size, harming your campaign performance. 
Although there is not one easy answer or technology to fix the media quality and ad fraud issue, Infectious Media recommends minimising the impact through a layered approach. Infectious Media offers an eight-layered solution to protect a brand by advertising on quality inventory at scale. 
Infectious Media's 8 layered solution, Approve, uses proprietary brand safety technology that includes:
  1. Supply Verification
  2. Pre-Bid Filters
  3. Whitelists/Blacklists
  4. External Non-Human Detection
  5. Internal Non-Human Detection 
  6. Viewability 
  7. Page Crawling 
  8. Firewalling 

Pete continued to explain how Approve helps advertisers manage risk and maximise quality when advertising online. Its eight layers of screens and safeguards protect brand equity and minimise waste by helping to find the most valuable inventory and blocking anything undesirable.

Advertisers must demand publisher ID level reporting, the information is out there, but unless asked for it, agency's are reluctant to release the information. By receiving this information, you can combat domain spoofing. Infectious Media offers a transparent approach to their advertising, whereby everything can be seen by our clients, down to exactly where their ads were placed and made an impression.


Pete finished by advising three things that advertisers should do to help combat the media quality issue:

  1. Proactive learning to keep up with developments: 
    • Be as knowledgeable as possible about the technical challenges around media quality
  2. Incentivise media buyers correctly with better measurement models:
    • Reach, clicks (and CTR), viewability, and post-impression metrics can all be gamed, which puts your brand at risk 
  3. Demand full transparency of data
    • You must be able to see exactly where you brand appeared, down to individual impressions. 


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The finishing Q&A section, was alive with comments from the audience, as expected from such a topical subject. Questions asked around the audience included themes about blockchain,  recommendations for CMOs to identify ad fraud to their bosses, Facebook's approach to ad fraud and brand safety, and many more. 

The feedback after the event was very positive and informative, with a number of the audience staying afterwards to discuss further points around the issue. Shailin provided some eye-opening insight into the ad fraud realm, which was shown by a fully engaged audience. 


If you wish to read further material on how to protect your brand online, download our whitepaper guide. 



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