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The Unbreakable Supply Chain: Teaming Up to Defeat Ad Fraud

Last year, the Association of National Advertisers estimated that ad fraud would cost the industry more than $7 billion.

While that figure might initially have appeared too staggeringly enormous to be accurate, it became clear that all stakeholders must join forces to demand accountability, transparency, and standardization across the industry to combat fraud and its costs.

It can sometimes seem like the Wild West out there, and there are still no hard-and-fast rules for who straps on the silver sheriff’s star and becomes accountable for hunting down the bad guys. If you discover that a particular exchange continues to do business with a bad actor, even though you've notified them and shown them evidence, you need to end that relationship.

Everyone can contribute to a healthier and safer environment by doing his or her part. (Even the toughest sheriff needs deputies, after all.):

  • The exchanges, with the most access and control of all, should monitor new publishers signing up, leverage third-party fraud monitoring, and monitor for suspicious activity with internal tools as well.
  • Publishers must have rules, regulations and monitoring in place, as well as cutting-edge tools that prevent and monitor fraud levels and bot activity.
  • The demand side platforms (DSPs) should ensure that they are representing quality advertisers who actually serve the ad they’ve declared (and don’t hide behind sneaky tactics). The DSP must also ensure that ads from their clients don’t contain malware, that they deliver the ad creative as requested by the publisher, and that they deliver the advertiser identified (and not a redirect to some unknown advertiser). DSPs also have a responsibility to share information such as abnormal click activity that links back to a specific publisher with their exchange partners, to add yet another layer of protection.

Advertisers likewise are responsible for ensuring that they’re building and managing reputable ad creative, and to help combat fraud, they should also monitor post-campaign data, focusing on where they’re serving ads and looking at the price points. Clients of Turn, for example, can readily see where their ads were served because of our focus on transparency.

It’s plain to see that navigating the programmatic landscape with a trusted partner like Turn is vital. Turn has held ad exchanges to our inventory guidelines for years. We monitor our partner exchanges through technology and internal teams, and, if necessary, we block specific sellers and publishers. We’ve even paused or terminated exchanges that were unable to provide the level of quality our customers deserve.

Turn has partnered closely with DoubleVerify and has integrated their fraud solution throughout our entire platform; and we work closely together on training, monitoring and reporting, and client support. The media has been rife with discussion of fake news in recent months, and with DoubleVerify’s help, Turn is ensuring that blacklist strategies take fake news into account. The Turn Platform enables marketers to activate leading technology vendors across our point-and-click ecosystem – from brand safety, context, and verification technology – and we continue to work closely with exchange partners to ensure that our customers are accessing quality, viewable and brand-safe inventory.   

As bad actors get more sophisticated in their attempts to commit fraud, Turn’s technology is following suit, and we’re 100% dedicated to making certain our clients aren’t feeding fraudsters’ bank accounts.

Education plays a critical role, as well as reputable technology partners who work hard to ensure placements are aligned with buyer expectations and brand safety requirements. Serving as a trusted advisor to clients means Turn provides insight and clarity. We communicate the ways that technology can help alleviate many of these common concerns with the goal of helping marketers utilize the tools and data available within the platform to execute buying with confidence.

New concerns in media emerge all the time. It’s imperative that every advertiser works with ad tech partners who are committed to quality and transparency in the supply chain.

For more on quality and transparency in the supply chain, see our post, “Here's Why A Trusted Programmatic Partner Matters.”