Would you use personal online banking that required no password? No form of authentication? In essence, that is what the vast majority of the digital advertising industry is asking brands to do all day every day – perform transactions worth millions of dollars with very little security or authentication. Just take a look at how other industries are attacking the digital cyber security problem - they are investing billions of dollars to stop and prevent fraud. Gartner estimates that worldwide spending on information security grew to $71.1 billion in 2014. Other industries do not merely report on fraud, they take proactive steps to thwart attacks from criminal perpetrators before they begin. At Videology, we believe it’s time that the digital marketing and advertising industry did the same.
In 2013, the issue of non-human traffic (known as NHT) really began to impact the digital ecosystem and many were ill prepared for those events. Around that time, the perpetrators began to realize that digital marketing was a potential money-making opportunity using deceptive activity. Many of these bad actors took tactics that they had used in banking and credit fraud and began to apply them within the digital marketing landscape. They initially applied these tactics within display advertising, but quickly realized that a big opportunity also existed within digital video with its higher average CPMs.
At that time, Videology began to vet 3rd party vendors with the hope of finding a primary partner that could match our global footprint, our scale, our focus on the highest levels of brand safety and quality and our commitment to providing maximum value for our clients. We began auditing every impression run through our platform for suspicious activity. We tagged individual campaigns with multiple verification vendors at a time to determine what insights each was able to provide and find one that could really break through the noise and identify even the most sophisticated of schemes. For us, that primary partner turned out to be White Ops.
We began by sharing data and patterns gleaned from those audits with our clients. We began to remove offending domains from our major exchange integrations available in our platform. The main issue we found though, was that the most sophisticated of these ploys was not domain based, but was instead user/IP address based. For us, the indication was clear – the potential exists for non-human impressions to originate from any domain across the web. At that time, we realized we had to jump in with both feet and began to integrate White Ops Non-Human Traffic Real Time Blocking technology into every single one of our server stacks across the globe. It is with great pride that we’re now able to share that with no impact to latency, we can prevent the vast majority of NHT before it occurs through our partnership with White Ops. The benefit to our clients is that they now can run their campaigns and their private media through our platform with the confidence that they are maximizing their ROI.
We are committed to continuing to dedicate resources to this key issue. The question remains whether others in our industry will do the same. To achieve true convergence, brands must be able to put their marketing budget into digital without fear that their message is disappearing into the dark recesses of the internet. We will continue to provide tools to our clients that instill confidence – we sincerely hope to not have to talk about this problem within the next few years. We’d much prefer to instead focus on the exciting potential of addressability that digital provides.