In August of last year The Trade Desk partnered with White Ops to take on issues of ad fraud head-on, particularly in the programmatic.
White Ops is a cybersecurity group that has been on the frontlines of the battle against ad fraud for years. Account stuffing, fake engagement and bots beware, the company’s Human Verification technology makes certain that each impression served is legitimate.
Many of the issues the industry currently faces are owed to the fact that automated systems have become the norm for regulating ads. But this trend has spiralled out of control, leaving the very people the growing technology was intended to help to pick up the pieces of broken campaign ROIs.
In response, the “human” component of White Ops’ verification system makes good on its promise. Human Verification gives actual operators the responsibility of double-checking ad impression requests before they are released. Notably, the impressions aren’t just samples, but take into account every ad in question. When fraudulent traffic, or “sophisticated invalid traffic” (SIVT), is recognised by White Ops, the The Trade Desk is alerted, and steps in to block the impression.
Making certain close-knit cooperation is possible whenever necessary, the two companies are co-locating servers and data centres in North America, Europe and Asia to scan impressions in real-time. This practice is the benchmark, for example, with high frequency trading in financial markets where time is of the essence.
Seismic industry shifts
The partnership should come as no surprise, as brands and agencies alike have been calling for an overhaul of brand safety standards for some time now, and this move is a step in the right direction.
Ultimately, the aim of the partnership is to prevent losses in revenue. According to Bot Baseline report, US$6.5 billion was wasted in 2017 as a cause of ad fraud, down ten percent from $7.2 billion in 2016, but still an astounding number that eats away at ROI for programmatic players on a daily basis. The primary culprit? Fake impressions.
On the upside, fraud in programmatic media buys is no longer riskier than general market buys, as media agencies have started to improve filtration processes and controls. The collaboration between The Trade Desk and White Ops will only better this reputation as the industry moves forward. Let’s hope the trend continues on the programmatic front in 2018.
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