Commentary

The Need For An Integrated Approach To Brand Safety, Fraud And Viewability

The topics of brand safety, ad fraud and viewability are ubiquitous in digital media these days — and rightfully so. Today’s marketers recognize that quality performance isn’t complete without a viable solution to combat the growing number of rogue Web sites and bots that disrupt our advertising ecosystem.

With digital media projected to generate $50+ billion in ad spend in the U.S. this year, and over $500 billion globally, marketers must take a proactive approach to brand safety to protect ad dollars and ensure the continued industry-wide growth we are all working so diligently to achieve.

Today, there is no single silver bullet to completely safeguard ad fraud and brand safety that fully guarantees advertisers get what they paid for. Suppliers of media must implement a complete and comprehensive approach that involves proprietary and third-party technologies as well as robust internal processes that address brand safety, fraud and viewability on every campaign.

Let’s take a look at the ways advertisers can arm themselves against the big three issues:

  • IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines 2.0 Certification

Look for the QAG 2.0 certificate, which acknowledges that a company has achieved the highest level of excellence set by IAB in trust and transparency. For advertisers, a company that meets these guidelines can be considered a trusted partner, one that offers some of the most reliable and brand safe digital advertising solutions available.

  • Site Planning Verification and Vetting

Ensure your ad appears only with high-quality content by vetting before you buy with robust internal processes and validation from third-party vendors. Work with technologies that can automate this process and provide deep visibility into the content and page quality.

  • Real-Time Validation

Opt for ad platforms that monitor sites for common fraud risk indicators, such as user frequency, performance anomalies and other various red flags. Using the right mix of proprietary and third-party solutions can help verify every impression through system-wide quality control audits while implementing tools that monitor sites for fraud and risk indicators across display, video and mobile channels.

These measures can provide advertisers with the value and reassurance to maximize every media buy so no dollars are lost to bots or illegitimate Web sites.

  • Flexible Integration Technology

Seek advertising technology solutions and platforms that have the flexibility to integrate with other technologies as there is no single solution for ad fraud prevention, brand safety and viewability validation accepted by all advertisers. This enables marketers to evaluate what is important to their brand, set their own standards, and leverage the best technology to achieve their goals. 

Brand safety measures that address the contextual classification of a site and ensure it does not fall under a brand-compromising content category have been around for years. Viewability is not a new concept either, yet the widespread adoption of viewability metrics is taking longer than anticipated.

The concept of fraud is only just becoming top of mind for many advertisers as visibility around the topic increases. Still, there is no standard definition for fraud –it is mainly addressing impressions served but not viewed by a human user, or impressions served against illegal content.

These are complex issues that all impact the potential growth of digital, so they require a proactive approach that seeks to preempt issues, not wait for them to rear their ugly heads in the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal.

 

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