Being prone to online cowboys who run fake sites to take advertising money for creative that will never been seen by a human, is a bug bear picked out by P&G, but it applies to all digital display advertisers. On welcoming the new certificates for fraud spotting, issued by JICWEBS, ISBA went as far as to suggest that a third of advertising budget is wasted on fraud. So that's billions of pounds worth of spots that are bought from gangsters hiding behind botnets and computers.
Certification isn't necessarily a cure -- it's more like having an agreed-upon effective medicine that brands can now ensure their media agency is using. For the first time, brands looking for transparency have a conversation starter with their media agency that will come in handy most when reviews are underway. They can now ask which JICWEBS-certified provider they are using to combat fraud. Right now, that's only two companies, but their number is sure to increase as more seek a tick of approval from the industry body.
Part of certification is greater clarity about how systems work to detect fraud. Before, brands and agencies were a little in the dark as to how each company went about discovering problems, but now that there is an industry-wide agreement about what constitutes effective, good practice, it can all be a lot clearer what they are getting from a tech provider. This is, of course, important to brands because it's third-party relationships such as fraud detection, where they suspect they have been kept in the dark. With a clearer understanding of at least what they are paying for now on the table, they might even get a better idea of what that means they should be paying for a certified service.
So just at the time that media agencies are being asked to be more transparent, to provide clients with a less "murky" service, along comes a little piece of transparency around fraud that could shine a light on at least one of the "miscellaneous" third-party charges. Most importantly, however, a light has now been taken to fraud systems, which have usually been considered a dark art that brands need not worry themselves with. With a tick from JICWEBS, however, at least brands now have a yardstick they can take to market with them.