First "ims university" session of the year: Patrick Stoltze from Integral Ad Science (IAS) talked about ad verification and especially what publishers should take into account for the future. Here are our key takeaways.
What is ad verification?
Via verification tags within the ad, agencies can check the ad’s viewability, if ads are displayed to real people, and if their ads are displayed in suitable context.
Brand suitability is the new currency
Instead of relying on general brand safety of a site, IAS measures if specific context is suitable for the brand (“brand suitability”). For example, if an airplane crashes, it does not matter which website is reporting it: no airline ad should be placed in this context.
Understanding AD fraud to fight it
For publishers, it is important to understand how fraudsters use premium sites of publishers for their scam: Hackers use code to create bots. These bots are then instructed to visit premium sites, picking up desirable cookies. Ads will be served to bots and botnet operator gets money. On a positive note, a recent IAS analysis of G+J sites revealed that our sites are barely the target of fraudster. Still, as any premium publisher we need to bear in mind that no site is immune to ad fraud.
More involvement of publishers likely
As the market evolves and overall knowledge increases on both the agency and the publisher side, publisher will most likely be more involved when issues come up in the future. Patrick’s tip for publishers: if you know that an ad verification vendor was involved for a campaign, check with the agency planning team to receive the daily reports. Too often entire sites are blocked after an issue has occurred. With the facts and usage of appropriate technology, publishers may understand what happened and hence be able to offer a solution instead of getting their site blocked.