How to Prioritize Actions to Reduce Ad Waste and Fight Fraud


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Many clients have asked about how to prioritize the actions needed to mitigate ad fraud. So we put together this list -- that describes a series of steps that we think about be most useful and practical. It also maps where some of the well known service offerings and providers fit into the ecosystem of digital ad fraud fighting.

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How to Prioritize Actions to Reduce Ad Waste and Fight Fraud

  1. 1. Prioritizing Actions to Fight Digital Ad Fraud Dr. Augustine Fou acfou @mktsci .com February 2014 -1- Augustine Fou
  2. 2. Prioritization Pyramid START at the bottom, low hanging fruit at bottom 30% 40% 30% -2- targeting optimization improvement delivery viewability bots /not seen by humans waste reduction Augustine Fou
  3. 3. Low Hanging Fruit The most immediate, direct impact on ROI comes from reducing waste Action 25% On-Target Delivery 3a (Nielsen) 82% Ignored (not relevant) (Harris Interactive) 54% Not In View (not seen) 2a (comScore) 23% Ad Blocked (wasn’t shown) (PageFair) 24 – 29% confirmed bot (Solve Media) -3- 1a, 1b Augustine Fou
  4. 4. Reduce Waste Due to Fraud “Ads shown on sites that were created by bad guys using algorithms and ad impressions and clicks generated by bots are forms of ad waste that should be cut out first – leading to a direct and immediate return/ROI.” -- Dr. Augustine Fou -4- Augustine Fou
  5. 5. 1a. Show Ads on Legit Sites YouTube TrueView - pay only when user chooses not to skip your ad. -5- Google or Bing Search ads shown on or have much less instances of fraud. Augustine Fou
  6. 6. 1b. Blacklist Bad Guy Sites Value Exclude sites from serving your ads (search, display) -6- Caveat For every site excluded, bad guys put up more (because they don‟t have to play by the rules). Augustine Fou
  7. 7. Improve Viewability/Delivery “Once the most obvious forms of waste are solved, then brands can move on to improving „viewability‟ or ensuring highquality „delivery‟ of their ads, using viewability and brand-safety technology platforms.” -- Mike Moran -7- Augustine Fou
  8. 8. 2a. Ad Was Human Viewable Brand safety, placement, viewability, bot detect, human viewer Source: Integral Ads Source: DoubleVerify Tech platforms that take samples of ad impressions to analyze for proper placement, viewability, and human views (not bots) -8- Augustine Fou
  9. 9. Optimize Targeting “Non-human and not in-view traffic confounds measurement systems. Once those are under control, reach and targeting optimization can become much more effective” -- Ted McConnell -9- Augustine Fou
  10. 10. 3a. Optimizing Targeting Increasing relevance, timeliness, and accuracy based on big data Using many forms of big data (social, mobile, retargeting, search, etc.) ad networks/optimizers improve targeting. - 10 - Augustine Fou
  11. 11. OTHER: Advanced Fraud Detection (manual, automated) - 11 - Augustine Fou
  12. 12. (Google) Analysis of how malware-compomised PCs commit fraud Opening multiple hidden Internet Explorer browser windows The payload controlling the infected PC opens multiple hidden browser windows. Each browser window is an embedded instance of the version of Internet Explorer already installed on the infected PC. In the screenshot below we show that the hidden browser windows are not listed by Task Manager. We used Nir Sofer’s WinLister to reveal the hidden windows, the names of which start with ―clk‖ [9]. Source: - 12 - Augustine Fou
  13. 13. WhiteOps On-page JS code to detect when bots load the page Mr. Tiffany said traffic fraud can be found not only on smaller sites serving as shells to game ad exchanges, but on the domains of premium publishers as well. "What we do know is that it's not just a problem hiding out in the long tail, it's not just a problem of bogus websites," he said. "Bots have infiltrated traffic systems across the ecosystem and end up at some premium, name brand publishers." Source: AdAge - Premium Publishers Are Getting Victimized By Traffic Fraud, Too Feb 2014 - 13 - Augustine Fou
  14. 14. Solve Media Ad delivery only to real humans who successfully solve CAPTCHAs TYPE-IN™ ads: Solve Media's proprietary TYPE-IN™ advertising guarantees your messaging won't be ignored—because it can't be. Our simple, effective and memorable TYPE-IN™ advertising lets users type in brand messages where they interact on web pages and mobile apps— replacing difficult CAPTCHAs, allowing people to skip video pre-roll ads, or unlocking access to valuable mobile experiences. The result: superior brand lift. Here's how: - 14 - • Guarantee engagement with your message every time • Deliver 1200% greater message recall than banner ads • Outperform comScore Brand Lift norms by an average of 10X across awareness, association, favorability, and purchase intent • Are performance-based, so you only pay for true engagement. Impressions that users don't engage with are free Augustine Fou
  15. 15. Subject Matter Experts - 15 - Augustine Fou
  16. 16. Mike Moran IBM Distinguished Engineer, Advanced Text Analytics Mike worked for IBM for 30 years, rising to the level of Distinguished Engineer. Mike has more than 20 years experience in search technology, led the IBM product team that developed the first commercial linguistic search engine in 1989, and has been granted five patents in search and retrieval technology. He led the integration of's site search technologies and served as product manager for IBM's search and text analytics products Author of the acclaimed book on Internet marketing, Do It Wrong Quickly, on the heels of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc., Mike Moran led many initiatives on IBM's Web site for eight years, including IBM's original search marketing strategy. Mike also serves as Chief Strategist for Converseon, a leading social media consultancy based in New York City. Mike holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing, and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business. He also writes a marketing column for Search Engine Guide and for the Biznology newsletter and blog. - 16 - Augustine Fou
  17. 17. Dr. Augustine Fou – Technical Forensics “I advise clients on optimizing advertising across all channels. One main area of focus is reducing ad waste due to fraud – fake impressions, clicks, leads, and sales – in order to raise ROI.” FORMER CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER, HCG (OMNICOM) MCKINSEY CONSULTANT CLIENT SIDE / AGENCY SIDE EXPERIENCE PROFESSOR AND COLUMNIST ENTREPRENEUR / SMALL BUSINESS OWNER PHD MATERIALS SCIENCE (MIT '95) AT AGE 23 ClickZ Articles: Slideshares: LinkedIn: - 17 - @acfou Augustine Fou
  18. 18. Ted McConnell – Digital Consigliere “My Goals are to drive, and participate in the process that yields the winning vision for my clients. I'm a Digital Marketing Generalist: I've Run large organizations, been staff to c-level executives at P&G, hold 4 Patents, successfully driven change in Marketing and Advertising practice in P&G and other companies.” ADVERTISING RESEARCH FOUNDATION MANAGER, DIGITAL MARKETING INNOVATION AdAge Articles: LinkedIn: - 18 - Augustine Fou
  19. 19. Related Articles ROI Case for Solving Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou January 2014 Fake YouTube Videos By: Augustine Fou, December 2013 Digital Ad Fraud Briefing By: Augustine Fou December 2013 Motive and Opportunity for Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou, February 2014 How Display Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, May 2013 Fake Facebook Profiles By: Augustine Fou, Dec 2013 How Click Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, November 2013 Fake Twitter Accounts By: Augustine Fou, August 2013 The Magnitude of Digital Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou, November 2013 Display Fraud 101 (video) By: Augustine Fou, Feb 2014 - 19 - Augustine Fou