HighCPM envisions an advertising ecosystem where online consumers are shown highly relevant ads in a safe and fraud-less environment. Together with our partners we are dedicated to providing a high degree of standards for our customers and publisher partners, whilst ensuring online customer security.
Ad fraud comes in many sizes and shapes. The ad industry is usually buzzing around bot traffic and site spoofing on the sell-side, which makes advertisers waste their ad budgets. It’s indeed a major issue that’s being fought. But there’s a very real problem on the other side of the spectrum, that’s rarely spoken of.
It’s time we bring light to this subject and pass on the criteria that HighCPM uses to remain fraud-free.
Malicious advertising (formerly referred to as”malvertising”), occurs when an advertiser runs fraudulent (yet apparently legitimate ads) via an ad platform onto a publisher website. The ads are usually in the form of an auto-click (forced redirect) that leads the consumer off the publisher website without the user clicking anything.
This accounts for roughly 0.5% of all ads served, but can change by a factor of five during an outbreak of forced redirect ads (Confiant, 2018).
Malicious advertisers are constantly concealed as legitimate companies, in most instances as media agencies. They usually only run their malicious ads at low frequencies, making them hard to detect through prevention and automation software.
The main hot spot for these fraudulent advertisers detected by Match2One have been located in Southeast Asia, but they can occur anywhere in the world.
On the 9th August, 2018, HighCPM implemented the following practices to prevent malicious advertisers (those should be considered the best methods for any DSP or ad platform):
As malicious advertisers are innovative and can slip through automated prevention applications, it is critical to have people lead the due diligence and vetting procedure. Value the importance of understanding your clients, their products, and goals to support them in attaining their objectives. Ensure there is no abnormal behaviour in what they do or intend to do.
A customer account manager manually conducts the following checks:
Public business information and reviews
Check social profiles and legitimacy
Checks public trading information (company trading amount, address, and available references)
Once the advertiser has passed the initial level of vetting, an interview is scheduled. This permits the client account manager to assess the client’s intent (goals, creatives, landing page URL etc.). If the customer is identified as potentially malicious or fraudulent, or can’t supply the requested material, this will immediately cause a blocking of the client’s account.
Following the advertiser is considered secure, access to the ad platform features are enabled, with restriction of launch campaigns. Once campaigns are submitted, the below process is followed:
— Increased screening of HTML5 ads and 3rd party ad tags.
— Live ad creative tests to simulate end consumer experience
When the campaign has been approved and launched, it can get mechanically scanned via an automatic detection service such as”The Media Trust”.
These procedures prevent malicious advertisers to get through to cause harm to online consumers or publishers.
Safety tools that detects malicious ads, including forced redirects:
These tools are often used by publishers and DSPs alike, to combat buy-side ad fraud.
The tricky equation in the realm of ad fraud is that it always harms the opposite side of the advertising ecosystem from where it occurs. When bot traffic and site spoofing occurs on the sell-side, it harms the advertisers on the buy-side. Vice versa with malicious advertising occurring on the buy-side, it harms the publishers on the sell-side. This makes it hard to control and enforce with profit incentives alone.
All actors in the ad-tech ecosystem have a duty to do their part in keeping the fraud offenders out, and these are steps in the right direction. Match2One values trusted customers, publisher partners and are determined to be a leading force behind building a fraud-free environment for advertisers, publishers and customers around the world.