Results tagged “digital advertising” from IABlog

The IAB is only as strong as its members. 

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Each month IAB selects a member company who has demonstrated both exceptional leader and learner roles due to their elevated participation in IAB activities. Member participation in our initiatives not only empowers committees & councils to create industry-wide accepted specifications, guidelines and best practices, but also gives member companies and individuals the opportunity to have their voice heard and receive visibility for their efforts. 

This month we spoke with BrightRoll, who has taken advantage of Town Hall speaking opportunities, Webinar attendance, 3MS Educational Forums, Quality Assurance Guideline Training, IAB.networking events, and much more.


What does your company do, and specifically how does it serve the digital ecosystem?
BrightRoll builds software that automates digital video advertising globally. The company enables advertisers, publishers and technology partners to grow their business through the industry’s leading programmatic video advertising platform. 

Brands, agencies, agency trading desks, demand side platforms and ad networks use our technology to reach precise audiences at scale, reduce waste, improve performance and simplify the complexity of video advertising across screens. 

On the publisher side of the business, BrightRoll enables more than 21,000 websites, mobile websites and apps to maximize their yield and efficiency, provide control over pricing and the advertisers appearing on their sites, and simplify the process to enable the delivery of advanced video advertising formats across multiple screens.

In addition, BrightRoll partners with a consortium of technology and data companies to bring advanced capabilities to the video ad ecosystem to help marketers improve the efficacy of their programmatic video advertising campaigns.

What initiatives is BrightRoll looking forward to working with the IAB and its member companies on; and how do you motivate your colleagues to get involved?
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Tim Avila, SVP of Marketing Operations, BrightRoll
BrightRoll is an active supporter of all IAB initiatives focused on establishing guidelines, standards and best practices for digital video advertising. We look forward to continuing leadership efforts around industry wide initiatives to combat ad fraud, including the IAB Trustworthy Digital Supply Chain and IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines. BrightRoll also looks forward to actively participating in multiple working groups including the research council and the digital video, 3MS and programmatic working groups.

The value the IAB brings, not only to our business and clients, but to the industry as a whole, is evident to employees across our organization. A number of BrightRoll colleagues are active participants in IAB efforts and have either contributed thought leadership at events or joined committees and councils to support important industry initiatives. We encourage our colleagues to attend IAB events and have hosted IAB leaders at BrightRoll events to promote the progress being made by the organization and its members. We value the various opportunities the IAB offers for our employees to become involved and we encourage other industry professionals to join us in moving the industry forward.

How have you leveraged a leadership role at IAB over the past year and what was your take-away from the experience?
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Sable Mi, Senior Director, Research Strategic Planning, BrightRoll
I have been a member of the IAB for nearly four years and it has continuously proven to be a rewarding experience. Being a digital research strategist, I am always looking for better ways to measure and prove ad effectiveness across media. Working closely with IAB provides me with the opportunity to collaborate with industry leaders and continuously improve the efficacy of digital advertising.
My most recent leadership role with the IAB was at the Cross-Screen Video Town Hall where I presented ‘TV & Mobile: The Complete Picture,’ which tells a compelling story of how TV and mobile video together improves reach and cost efficiency. In addition to the town hall presentation, I have been actively involved with the IAB Research Council and its Advisory Board, Emerging Innovation task force as well as Data, Mobile Video and the Ad Effectiveness working groups; all of them are playing crucial roles in moving the industry forward. 

There is never a dull moment in this rapidly evolving industry and I value the opportunity to be a part of the initiatives that are contributing to the growth of the industry. This progress wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of the IAB and its members who have collectively provided thought leadership and guidance in standardized measurement, data and inventory quality, cross-platform ad effectiveness, and more. It is incredibly valuable for leaders from across the digital ecosystem to come together to share their expertise in an actionable way and I am honored to be a part of it. 

How did you participate as a learner at IAB over the past year and what was your take-away from the experience?
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David Lui, Business Development Manager, BrightRoll
Being a member of the IAB has been an incredibly valuable experience and I appreciate the expert learning opportunities that it provides. I began my career as an Ad Operations Manager at BrightRoll and was excited to join IAB Ad Ops Council to learn the more about the operational efficiencies within interactive advertising. Even as I’ve transitioned into my new role as a Business Development Manager at BrightRoll, I continue to find that the IAB’s diverse services are immensely valuable. 

Most recently, I attended the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report Webinar to monitor the latest spending trends in digital advertising and to get a better sense of where the video is headed. It’s our goal to integrate leading companies into our BrightRoll Partner Program and this report serves as a valuable data point in identifying the right partners. Additionally, the business development team at BrightRoll both appreciates and leverages the advertising standards set forth by the IAB. Regardless of whether it has to do with viewability or VPAID, the IAB standards provide an indispensable baseline for our partner integration conversations.



About the Author

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Nicole Horsford

Nicole Horsford is the Member Services Director at IAB.


On October 23rd, thinkLA and IAB were thrilled to host a Programmatic Summit in Los Angeles, in association with eMarketer. Our first ever collaboration focused on the rising tide of programmatic within digital media. Over 500 brand marketers, media buyers, online publishers, ad networks, ad exchanges, and other solution providers came together to discuss and debate the next evolution of programmatic. 
 
Here are the top 10 takeaways from the event about programmatic:
  1. Programmatic is more than RTB. There is a lot of confusion over the term programmatic, which many people mistakenly believe is only real-time bidding (RTB) or used only for remnant inventory. Ultimately programmatic is the process of buying and selling media in an automated fashion. This includes four main types of transactions - open auctions, invitation-only/private auctions, unreserved fixed rate/preferred deals, and automated guaranteed/programmatic guaranteed deals. Every time someone says the word “programmatic” make sure you ask what exactly they mean. Watch this Digital Simplified video that explains how one part of programmatic, RTB, works step by step.
  2. Lots of challenges still exist to enable programmatic to work. Concerns that were addressed throughout the event included transparency, fraud, and trust; limited understanding and knowledge; confusion over terminology; moving from direct response to branding dollars, moving from mostly standard banners to native, video, rising stars, and audio ad formats; internal organizational challenges for brands and publishers; and delivering different creative through programmatic.
  3. Programmatic is big and getting bigger. The programmatic market (including auction, and direct deals) is expected to top $10B in 2014 and grow to $20B by 2016. For now, RTB remains the dominant part of programmatic spending (92% in 2014), but is expected to fall to under 60% of total programmatic spend by 2016 as programmatic direct increases. Within RTB, open auctions account for 88% of total RTB spend, though this is changing with private marketplaces growing significantly faster. While display is still dominant for now, mobile and video programmatic are growing fast.
  4. Fraud and trust are big issues, but are being tackled by the industry. Bots and fraud have become a big issue mainly due to the large sums of money involved. The IAB and the industry are building a trust stack to tackle fraud, malware, piracy, and transparency and include these in a joint cross-industry accountability program) building on the existing Quality Assurance Guidelines. Advertisers and buyers should make sure they know their supply sources, choose their vendors carefully, and always remember “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is!” Publishers need to ensure they are coordinating between sales, marketing, operations, and analytics to identify any strange traffic patterns and remember if they are doing audience extension they need to apply the same controls as buyers should.
  5. Publishers can hit a home run with programmatic video. The concern that programmatic has been perceived as a “race to the bottom” for rates and yield has not been the case in video due to restricted supply. Publishers can use programmatic to fund the creation of quality video content particularly by helping to monetize traffic spikes. Ultimately efficiency doesn’t have to mean lower CPMs; it can also mean more effective engagement.  
  6. Measurement matters even more in a programmatic world. Brand marketers are looking for transparency, inventory quality, and technology simplicity. Buyers should ensure they are reaching the right audience, use a consistent, comparable metric to plan, buy, and sell audiences, use brand data to ensure advertising resonates, and ultimately ensure that the campaign drives the desired action.
  7. Attribution is essential to effective programmatic spend. Last touch attribution is outdated and is like giving all the credit in a relay race to the last runner. Attribution models should incorporate the “first site visit” separating the funnel into prospecting and retargeting, and set the right incentives to each part.
  8. Brands in automotive are leveraging programmatic. Leading brands are looking beyond the simple retargeting of ads and embracing programmatic across the consumer path to purchase from unaware to loyal purchasers. The agency automation “stack” includes four layers - unified data platform, open access to media inventory, single metrics regime, and dynamic ad creation/production/serving platform. Brands are finally learning from programmatic media to employ new tactics in automated creative—not creating by machines, but optimizing ad variables based on real-time, impression level data.
  9. Publishers need to re-org to capture the value of programmatic. Publishers are adopting programmatic as a core part of their monetization strategy. However, this can pose internal challenges. The top five ways to build a successful programmatic publisher organization were the following: align incentives and compensation; educate direct sellers and have them attend Programmatic 101 training; programmatic team to focus on supporting direct sales (agencies) and covering programmatic buying entities (DSPs, trading desks, retargeters); establish a programmatic rate card; and have internal and external quarterly budget reviews.
  10. Creativity and programmatic are not enemies. Every ad should be dynamic and leverage the same audience signals used in programmatic media buying to make the creative relevant. This can be done by infusing first or third-party data on demographics, location, and previous website behavior to alter the headline call to action, image, or assets of the ad unit to ensure the message resonates with the user. Doing this can double yield on interaction rates and increase engagement by 50%. 


Historic Transatlantic Partnership for the Digital Ad Industry

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Today IAB US and IAB Europe join together to publish recommendations for promoting global trade and innovation as our respective governments negotiate a vital trade program. Titled “Modernizing Safe Harbor to Ensure Continued Growth in the Digital Economy”, we provide the industry’s first consensus policy position on data governance issues, and hope they can serve as guidance for ongoing negotiations between the US and Europe on the revision of the Safe Harbor framework.

The US and EU are among the world’s most vibrant digital advertising marketplaces, together representing $92 billion in annual revenue, or nearly 70% of the global industry, and maintaining equally significant market share in emerging categories such as mobile advertising.

The Safe Harbor framework has greatly contributed to the success of this marketplace by providing more than 4,000 businesses, including many IAB member companies, a means to transfer data across the Atlantic in a streamlined and cost-effective manner that ensures consumer protection.

As negotiators in the US and EU undertake the critically important task of reviewing the Safe Harbor framework, it is imperative that both sides seek to develop a more integrated transatlantic market for data flows to accelerate the growth of the digital economy. 

It is with this aim that IAB US and IAB Europe today announced principles for a modernized Safe Harbor framework to serve as guidance to US and EU negotiators on the digital advertising industry’s priorities. These principles call for a business environment that is conducive to innovation and economic growth, a balanced approach to economic growth and protection of personal data, increased legal certainty for companies, and coherence with US and EU laws. 

The principles also highlight the importance of US and EU trade negotiations that are currently underway as a means to furthering the success of the transatlantic digital economy for years to come.

IAB US and IAB Europe will continue to leverage the IAB Global Network to push for a workable framework that ensures the responsible flow of data between the world’s two largest digital marketplaces.

About the Authors

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Randall Rothenberg

Randall Rothenberg is President and Chief Executive Officer, IAB



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Townsend Feehan

Townsend Feehan is Chief Executive Officer, IAB Europe






The IAB is only as strong as its members. 

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Each month IAB selects a member company who has demonstrated both exceptional leader and learner roles due to their elevated participation in IAB activities. Member participation in our initiatives not only empowers committees & councils to create industry-wide accepted specifications, guidelines and best practices, but also gives member companies and individuals the opportunity to have their voice heard and receive visibility for their efforts. 

This month we spoke with Tremor Video, who has taken advantage of Town Hall speaking opportunities, Webinar attendance, Digital Content NewFronts, Quality Assurance Guidelines and much more. 


What does your company do, and specifically how does it serve the digital ecosystem?
At Tremor Video we’re transforming the video advertising experience across all screens for our clients. In a nutshell, we are a tech company that really understands brand advertising for video.

We’ve developed a technology platform, VideoHub®, which offers advertisers and publishers a complete programmatic solution to reach and engage consumers while providing new insights into what drives brand performance across screens.

We operate a complete digital ad tech stack for video, meaning we offer solutions for both advertisers and publishers, ranging from ad serving, to buying & selling inventory, to analytics.

The digital ecosystem has evolved to a point where a screen-specific approach is not the most effective way for marketers to reach their target audiences, so we’re helping them reach consumers in a screen-agnostic world.  


What initiatives is Tremor Video looking forward to working with the IAB and its member companies on; and how do you motivate your colleagues to get involved?
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Tim Ware, Head of Mobile/CTV Sales, Tremor Video
We work closely with the IAB to develop guidelines around a number of initiatives, including quality assurance, measurement and innovative new ad units.

As the head of mobile and CTV sales, I’m most looking forward to elevating the importance of mobile creative to showcase how effective mobile video advertising is as consumption continues to grow, particularly in tablets for 2015. I’m also looking forward to teaming with the IAB to work with affiliated industry groups like MRC as we develop Advanced TV measurement and best practices. Advanced TV combines the best of digital and TV advertising capabilities and we’re at an exciting time where over 83M US consumers are watching content on them.

Motivating my colleagues to get involved with the IAB isn’t hard because everyone fully understands the value and insights one can gain from participating. The IAB offers so many different options to get involved at any level and time commitment. Tremor Video holds seats on a number of committees and councils as well. 

 
How have you leveraged a leadership role at IAB over the past year and what was your take-away from the experience?
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Doron Wesly, Head of Market Strategy, Tremor Video
I love to tell stories, especially when I can weave in data nuggets to remind marketers that “consumers” are people just like them. We spend so much time looking at demographics and target audiences, but I like to be the person that gets everyone to take a step back see the big picture. 

Speaking at the IAB at events like the IAB NewFront Lunch, Future of the App Town Hall and upcoming IAB Mixx give me the opportunity to show people what I’ve learned from being on the road and talking to real consumers. 

Seeing the crowd nod their heads and scribble down notes reminds me how important market research is, and the IAB is a wonderful platform to share those learnings.
  
 

How did you participate as a learner at IAB over the past year and what was your take-away from the experience?
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Lisa Tanzosh, Sales Strategy, Buy-Side Platforms, Enterprise
I attended a number of events this past year, including “Using Data & Programmatic to Go Global and Build Brands” which focused on different perspectives and opinions from panelists working in all corners of the industry (agency, publishers, data, platform, etc.). The viewpoints discussed left me with three important takeaways:
    • Transparency is key, but as an industry we need to define - what does it mean to be truly transparent in the programmatic space? 
    • Now that programmatic technologies are in place, let’s find ways to implement more engaging and interactive creative in real time
    • Now that people are getting more comfortable with letting technology do the heavy lifting, we can begin to take advantage of programmatic efficiencies
As Tremor Video continues to improve its programmatic offering, it’s helpful to participate in IAB events that elevate the programmatic conversation and allow publishers, advertisers, and agencies to dig into important industry topics. 




About the Author

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Nicole Horsford

Nicole Horsford is the Member Services Director at IAB.



In the wake of revelations regarding U.S. intelligence programs, the European Union is calling for a revised U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework that could increase the compliance burden for IAB members.

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According to European data protection law, companies are not allowed to transfer consumer data outside of the EU unless there is a guarantee that the data will receive an “adequate” level of protection, as determined by the European Commission. In 2000, the EU found the Safe Harbor Framework proposed by the U.S., a voluntary self-certification program that requires participants to publicly adhere to principles such as notice, choice, access, and enforcement, satisfied the “adequacy” requirement of European law. 

Since then, the Safe Harbor Framework has provided more than 3,000 businesses, including a significant share from the digital advertising industry, a means to transfer data across the Atlantic in a streamlined and cost-effective manner that ensures consumer protection. The Framework accomplishes this by offering U.S. companies an efficient compliance process, and European companies and consumers an easily accessible list of compliant participants.

This Framework has been a major success for businesses of all sizes and types, and has allowed for borderless innovation and job creation. Today, the combined U.S./EU digital advertising marketplace represents $92 billion in annual revenue, nearly 70% of the global industry. In the U.S. more than 300 Safe Harbor certified companies use the Framework to conduct advertising services. From a recent poll of IAB member companies, an even higher percentage of our members participate in the program, thereby allowing them to efficiently build an international digital supply chain. 

Despite its many successes, critics of the program argue that recent revelations of the scale of U.S. surveillance activities necessitate a strengthened Framework. In response, last November the European Commission proposed 13 recommendations to “restore trust in data flows between the EU and the U.S.”

The stated goals of the EU’s recommendations are to increase transparency, create a more active enforcement and auditing process, limit the scope of U.S. authorities’ access to EU data, and improve dispute resolution processes. Several of these recommendations reinforce the original Framework without creating unnecessary burden on businesses. Other recommendations, such as requiring companies to publish the privacy provisions of their contracts with subcontractors and notify the U.S. Department of Commerce of onward transfers of personal data under the Safe Harbor Framework, are not workable for industry and provide no additional protections for consumers.

The IAB Public Policy Office is working to ensure that the updated Framework takes into account the digital advertising industry’s perspectives. Our industry represents a significant share of the U.S. and EU economies, allowing us to provide meaningful insights into the impact changes to the Framework will have on digital advertising and the economy at large. We are also coordinating our research and messaging internationally through the IAB global network of 26 European-based IABs to more fully capture the impact any changes to the Safe Harbor Framework will have on the transatlantic trading relationship and the international business community. Our advocacy is taking place on both sides of the Atlantic, which is the only way we can effectively negotiate an acceptable solution.

The U.S. and EU negotiators have expressed interest in finding solutions to the EU’s recommendations by this summer. As negotiations progress we will continue to push for a workable Framework that allows for the free flow of data between the World’s two largest digital marketplaces. For more information please contact Alex Propes at [email protected].

About the Author

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Alex Propes

Alex Propes is Senior Manager, Public Policy, at the IAB.

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The IAB is only as strong as its members. 

We’re delighted to congratulate Time Inc. for being the inaugural member of the month. Time Inc. was selected because they have taken full advantage of learning to leading opportunities, ranging from leading conversations on the Programmatic Council to attending educational  IAB webinars. 

Below, we interviewed those leaders and learners to hear their perspective on what is going on in digital advertising and their experience with the IAB.  

What does your company do, and specifically how does it serve the digital ecosystem?
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Dan Realson, VP Digital Sales, Time Inc. 
Time Inc. is first and foremost a storyteller. From desktop to mobile, from video to social, our diverse portfolio of brands engages 83 million passionate, loyal consumers on a monthly basis in a dialogue that entertains, informs, inspires and enriches their lives. The connections we have with our consumers are a powerful draw for our ad partners. Our scale and breadth of brands give us diverse audiences, deep insights and rich data - both offline and online - allowing us to create custom solutions that are highly targeted and contextually relevant, driving more efficiency and effectiveness for advertisers. It’s that intersection of content, context, data and scale that fuels our innovative suite of digital solutions.

Whether working directly with one of our brands, or buying programmatically across the Time Inc. digital network our advertisers benefit from the value audiences place on our quality, branded content.

What initiatives is Time Inc. looking forward to working with the IAB and its member companies on; and how do you motivate your colleagues to get involved?
Dan Realson, VP Digital Sales, Time Inc. 
Time Inc. will continue to work with the IAB on initiatives to advance industry education on programmatic as well as other initiatives such as transparency, viewability and building a trustworthy supply chain. We are also eager to work with the IAB on establishing industry-wide standards for tablet, campaign measurement, and audience measurement for video, as well as the development of responsive, multi-platform ad units.

The key to motivation is in claiming Time Inc.’s leadership position in the media community, recognizing the IAB as an arbiter and megaphone for best practices, and underscoring our opportunity to have a voice in shaping the issues that are driving our industry today.
 
How have you leveraged thought leadership development at IAB over the past year and what was your take-away from the experience?
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Patrick Landi, Executive Director Programmatic Sales, Time Inc.
I have been an active member of the Programmatic Council for publishers since last summer where I have participated in a number of initiatives to help create best practices around programmatic selling. Projects have ranged from creating guidelines for building out a programmatic sales team to developing content for a programmatic 101 webinar in which I participated as a speaker. I also helped curate content for the IAB’s recent professional development class entitled Advanced Programmatic for Direct Sellers, and I will be serving on the Digital Media Sales Certification (DMSC) exam committee later this year. Participating in this group and getting to know my peers on the council  has been an invaluable resource that I have used to help develop Time Inc.’s own programmatic sales team and strategy. I’ve also incorporated the materials from the IAB webinars into my own programmatic training sessions across Time Inc. and continue to use the IAB as a resource as our programmatic organization continues to develop.  
 
How did you participate as a learner at IAB over the past year and what was your take-away from the experience?
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Nicole Waddell, Digital Client Services Manager, Time Inc.
We are well trained on Time Inc.’s ad solutions but we rarely get to take a deeper look into what the industry as a whole is doing, especially as it relates to our colleagues at other companies. The IAB Programmatic Webinar (specific for publishers) was a unique opportunity that allowed me to see how other media companies are looking at Programmatic, what approaches their organizations are taking, how they are adapting their business strategies, and how they deal with challenges that may arise. I was encouraged to learn from an outside perspective, that even as the industry continues to adapt and grow, Time Inc. is taking a unique approach and has a strong offering in the marketplace.



To find out more about Time Inc.’s digital advertising opportunities go to www.Timeinc.com



About the Author

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Nicole Horsford

Nicole Horsford is the Member Services Director at IAB.




Although Integral has been on the forefront of the fight against impression fraud in the digital advertising industry, I have been largely silent on the topic.  Despite that I’m a battle-scarred ad tech vet with strong opinions, I have been quiet because I know that many will perceive my words as biased due to Integral’s role in fraud prevention.  Two recent incidents, however, prompted me to end my silence.  Some will be surprised by my conclusions.

For the record, my definition of impression fraud - as recognized by the IAB - is a situation where an advertiser buys a digital ad that has zero chance of being seen by a human.  Fraud comes in many flavors, including ad stacking, whole websites stuffed into non-viewable i-frames, and botnets of infected consumers’ computers, which surreptitiously mimic humans’ surfing behavior.  Although all cause harm to the advertising ecosystem, I will be referring mainly to bot traffic here as we believe it’s the most common form of fraud and probably the hardest to detect.

The first aforementioned incident that caused me to speak out was a call I received from an old colleague who runs a media company that produces valuable fitness-related content.  He called me in panic because he was told by one of his big clients that they were discontinuing advertising with his company.  Their reason was that a technology vendor had found that 100 percent of his site’s impressions were fraudulent.  Given what I knew of the site, 100 percent fraudulent traffic sounded improbable.  I quickly offered to help by running a test on his site.  The results showed that my former colleague’s site did have some fraud, but the levels were closer to 20 percent.  It became quite clear that the technology vendor measuring fraud was labeling a lot of legitimate inventory (in this case 80 percent) as bad inventory.  I thought that this may have been an isolated case, but with further investigation, I found that this was happening to a lot of other publishers as well.  Sites that had even a modicum of fraud were being labeled as fraudulent by this well-known vendor.  

This issue seemed like a micro-level problem to me.  Human traffic was being incorrectly categorized as bot traffic on domains with any level of fraud, and while unfortunate, only impacted those sites affected.  The second incident, a call from an investment bank research analyst, made me realize that there is a macro-issue at play as well.  This bank was putting the final touches on its special report on the state of digital media and wanted me to verify that the annual loss from impression fraud in the online display ad industry was over $20 billion.  Say what?  I have read some pretty aggressive predictions around the dollars lost to fraud, but $20 billion?  That estimate is way too high. 

So, I feel I need to come forward and take a stand.  Fraud is a problem in the online advertising industry, but NOT a problem of this magnitude.  Whether on purpose or not, the fraud problem is being exaggerated.  We have a problem, but it’s been blown out of proportion and it’s not as big as what we read.  There, I said it.  A year ago, I was concerned because I felt that the industry was not talking enough about the fraud problem, and now, I am worried about the opposite.  If we’re not careful, we are going to get carried away and cause irreparable harm to the future of digital advertising.

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So how did we get here exactly?  I put the blame into a couple of categories.  The first category has to do with limitations in technology.  The unnamed vendor labeling my former colleague’s website as having 100 percent fraudulent traffic is a good example of technological limitations.  In this case, the vendor correctly detected some fraudulent activity, but extrapolated this information to the domain or site level.  In other words, bot-related fraud happens at a user level (an infected computer), but due to technical restrictions, it is often tied to a domain level (e.g., fitness-related-site.com).  To make matters worse, many solutions only have two classifications of the entire site: fraudulent or clean.  Thus, if the solution sees any reasonable fraction of fraudulent impressions on a website, it has to make a decision to label the site as fraudulent or clean.  The threshold for fraud is typically set quite low in order to eliminate as much bot traffic as possible.  The end result is that a relatively few fraudulent visitors can cause a vendor to mislabel a large percentage of normal impressions fraudulent.  And as most fraud appears on legitimate sites that are buying traffic (a portion of which turns out to be non-human), as opposed to whole fake sites with 100% fraudulent traffic, this mis-labeling is very common.  When you start to aggregate these mis-labeled statistics and extrapolate on what it means industry-wide on a percentage of total impressions, the amount of fraud present looks downright scary.  Then, if you apply industry average CPMs to these extrapolated estimates (despite the fact that fraudulent inventory is usually cheaper than average), suddenly $20 billion appears plausible. 

So, what’s the alternative to rolling up fraud statistics and detecting at the domain level?  The better option is to intercept the ad call as soon as you detect a fraudulent user and thus only block the one ad from serving to this specific bot.  However, you need to do this detection at the ad impression level.  It’s the equivalent of using a laser to perform surgery rather than a butcher knife.   Here are a couple of things to look out for:  If more than 15 percent of your campaign impressions overall are identified as fraudulent and blocked, there is a good chance fraud detection is at the domain level.  This means you are using a butcher knife, and this will likely cause friction with partners and needlessly hurt your scale.

Additionally, if you ever hear that blocking is not possible or bad because it tips off the fraudsters, you should know that you have been given false information.  If done correctly, there is absolutely NO truth to this claim.  It’s an urban myth - similar to one that claims freezing water in plastic bottles release dangerous dioxins - so don’t fall for it!  Even if fraudsters were able to somehow detect that a specific bot did not receive the originally intended ad each time (not likely), there is no data that would give them the ability to reverse engineer the reasons why.  People claiming that blocking is bad because it helps the bad guys are either naïve, rely on only one method for detecting fraud (like side channel analysis) or are purposely deceitful.  In any case, it means that they’re suggesting a solution that does not have the technological sophistication to block at the impression level, and thus not as effective in preventing fraud and saving money for advertisers.

The second category of blame for exaggerating the fraud problem is related more to commercial reasons.  The fraud problem has created lots of opportunity and companies have popped up almost overnight to capitalize on it.  Many of the companies are made up of people who have never bought or sold an ad and have no appreciation for the media or the technology behind it.  They see dollar signs and exaggerate the problem to give their company attention and help them create more demand for their product and services.  Furthermore, most of these companies see only a small percentage of the online population - typically the worst stuff.  They make the assumption that their tiny sample of media is representative of the entire industry’s media and use these biased samples to wildly extrapolate.  Needless to say, the industry’s long-term health is not their top concern.  

So, where do we go from here?  Well, first it starts with a little perspective.  We have a fraud problem.  It has been exaggerated, however, and it’s not as big as many of the pundits say.  It definitely won’t ruin the industry - we won’t allow it to — and it’s not out of control.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is fraud is still a problem nonetheless.  It’s not only a sell side problem nor is it only a buy side problem.  It’s an industry problem.  And this problem will not go away anytime soon and may never completely vanish.  The bad guys are made up of amateurs and very sophisticated professionals.  We can eliminate the amateurs, but the pros are making a lot of money in fraud and they will continue to invest heavily in building better deceptions.  Our goal has to be to work together as an industry to shut down all amateur activity and get the professional levels to a very small, manageable amount.  The good news is that we are making progress.  Despite what you may hear, fraud levels have dropped over the past year.  We are at the beginning of the battle, but we’ve got the bad guys on the run. 


About the Author


Scott_headshot_hi-res.jpgScott Knoll

Scott Knoll is the CEO of Integral Ad Science



There is no doubt that mobile gaming is a hot topic that is attracting the notice of brand advertisers. Mobile gaming is growing significantly due to three key trends:
  1. Growth in smartphone and tablet usage (according to the IAB Mobile Center research, as of January 2014, 57% of all US adults owned a smartphone and 44% owned a tablet)
  2. Increasing sophistication in mobile app ecosystem
  3. Growing willingness among consumers to pay for virtual goods and accept mobile advertising
Mobile game monetization comes from:
  1. Virtual goods
  2. Paid apps and downloads
  3. Advertising
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Per eMarketer, mobile game monetization is projected to increase significantly over the next four years. All three of the primary monetization models—downloads, in-game/virtual goods, and ad-supported—will grow, but the mix will shift in favor of in-game/virtual goods.
 
For these reasons, the IAB Games and Mobile Committees convened a Town Hall discussion titled “The Future of Mobile Game Advertising.” Susan Borst, Director of Industry Initiatives and the IAB lead for the Games Committee stated that interest in game advertising has never been higher and bringing these two committees together is important given that nearly a third of all time spent on mobile is on games. Joe Lazlo, Senior Director of the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence added that successful game advertising has much to teach the rest of the mobile ecosystem.

Following a welcome and some perspective on the state of mobile games advertising from event host, Jeff Colen, Ad Sales & Marketing at Zynga, Lewis Ward, Research Director of Gaming at IDC, shared some background information on smartphone growth and share, consumer spending on games and consumer sentiment for game play by device.
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Lewis noted the growth of the tablet for game play, and in particular the iPad as gamer’s favorite iOS devices. He went on to say that significant demographic differences exist across the various mobile platforms, notably HH income and gender, which have obvious implications for game developers and advertisers. For instance, the IDC study showed a big disposable income gap between iOS and Android, and game play on Kindle Fire skews heavily female.

Defining and sizing smartphone and tablet ads is “tricky due to technology fragmentation and the rapid pace of market innovation and evolution,” said Lewis, and the audience agreed. This is an area where the IAB could work to provide some clarity. 


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PANEL DISCUSSION
The key takeaway from the Town Hall discussion is that there has been a significant and important shift in just the past year or so and the momentum is building.  
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Key Highlights:

  1. Ad format evolution taking place: From advertising that offers player rewards, value exchange video advertising, rich media creative, branded content and more native integration—ads on games are becoming less aggravating—and more frictionless. 
    • There is an overall increased acceptance of advertising among users when advertising is executed in a way that brings value to their experience, is contextually relevant, delivered in a format that is visually appealing or synergistic to their mobile experience. Benjani highlighted inMobi’s focus on “working with studios and brands to create deeply integrated native ad experiences to connect advertisers to audiences globally.”
    • Emotional targeting that is additive to game play (creating value exchange between advertiser and user) tapping into players’ emotions and serving ads in the right place at the right time with the right message is a win for both advertisers and consumers. This allows the brand to be a welcome “hero” for the player, taking part in the user experience and offering players rewards during moments of “achievement” or tips at points of “frustration.” 
    • “In-game advertising is the only way brand marketers can reach and reward, encourage and rescue players in a way that adds value to the user experience. For example, during Breakthrough Moments™ (BTMs™), brands can reach game players during moments of “achievement,” such as when they get a new high score or a longest jump. With this approach, people will reciprocate the brand’s gift and take a post ad action—such as purchase a product or visit a website—and further engage with the brand, giving marketers a unique way to make lasting, meaningful connections with people,” said Brandt.
  1. Increasing focus on brand metrics: As Lewis noted, CPM, CPC, CPA and CPV all have some traction in mobile games, but increasingly, better brand metrics, analytics and real-time decisioning are changing the way effectiveness is measured. “Keep in mind as to where your ads are running as not all impressions are equal. If your primary KPI is to deliver a positive brand experience and association, look at where the ad is running and ask if you were playing this game - would you feel interrupted by or helped by this advertisement? User experience is at the paramount of successfully advertising on mobile and simply porting over outdated ad units and placements from display advertising is not enough. These are personal experiences on mobile and the key is tailor advertising to match this new medium”, said O’Connor.
  2. More options for developers and advertisers: From in-app to HTML5, more options are emerging for game developers and advertisers to foster “native” experiences. Grossberg added: “Brands are also beginning to leverage HTML5 to create their own mobile web games (the game is the advertising!) to engage their target audience at scale through this preferred activity on mobile, and do so in a cost effective manner in a way that fosters social and viral growth.”
Mobile game integration is a reality and has become industry standard for marketers.  The IAB Games Committee is  finalizing a white paper titled “The Games Advertising Ecosystem” report which is intended to help the industry understand today’s game play, the core game types and advertising categories for marketers to reach consumers.  Stay tuned!

About the Author

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Kym Nelson

Kym Nelson serves as an IAB Games Committee Co-Chair and is Senior Vice President of Sales at Twitch TV, the world’s largest live-streaming video platform. In this role since May, 2013, she has created Twitch Media Group, launching an inside, direct-sales media group at Twitch. She is responsible for creating and leading a world-class sales organization that delivers completely new and innovative digital solutions on a platform that is spearheading digital media as we know it today. 

IAB Launches the Programmatic Council to a Packed House

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Last Thursday, IAB officially launched the brand new Programmatic Council at the Ad Lab in New York City. More than 160 professionals from across the programmatic ecosystem joined in person or remotely.  

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The Programmatic Council aims to bring together publishers, buyers and ad technology providers to discuss the key business issues in the evolving programmatic marketplace. The focus of this Council will be to identify and tackle what is working and what can be improved to make programmatic work more effectively. The Council is the successor to the Networks and Exchanges Committee. It will build on the work done by the Programmatic Publishers Task Force who published three Digital Simplified pieces in 2013 on terminology, salesforce models and the need for transparency.


The Council agreed to focus on the full spectrum of Programmatic transactions - from Automated Guaranteed transactions (sometimes known as Programmatic Direct) through to the Open Auction.

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Building on the agenda set by the Programmatic discussions at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in Palm Springs last month, the Council agreed to focus on four key issues over the coming year:

1) Building a transparent & fair marketplace - aim to come to a common agreement between buyers, sellers and vendors on what transparency means in an auction environment and agree how to achieve that.
2) Marketplace education and training - build understanding for both direct sellers and media planners, create training for C-suite executives, link to sales certification and create a common curriculum for companies to use.
3) Standardization of definitions, terminology, and best practices - start with updating existing terminology piece to incorporate buyer/ad tech inputs, and then look to create a comprehensive mapping of programmatic ecosystem including roles and definitions.
4) Making Programmatic work for brands - engage brand managers & CMOs, enable selling of new formats, build better brand metrics and make data more compelling.

The IAB will be creating working groups on each of these topics with representatives from across the ecosystem including buyers, sellers and ad technology providers. Members agreed concrete deliverables for the next 12 months for each of these four priority areas. In addition the Council identified a number of areas where this group would need to work closely with other initiatives including on trust and quality issues, data use and standards, technical standards, and video/audio committees. 


About the Author

Carl Kalapesi, Director Industry Initiatives, IAB 
Reach him via email [email protected] or Twitter @carlkalapesi



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IAB University - A Place For Learning

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I’ve been thinking about my job title for some time now. Something about it has been troubling me, and I believe I have finally figured it out.

Since we launched the IAB Certification program nearly two years ago I’ve been Vice President, Training and Development.  Now, at the IAB we don’t go out of our way to be cute or creative when we use titles; they are meant to be accurate, expressive, and to-the-point. No Senseis or Shepherds here. As a result no one has ever not understood what my role is at the IAB.

Still, the longer that I’ve had this position, the more the title has seemed inappropriate to me. It’s the word training that bothers me. Training is something that’s done to people (or dogs!) Training sounds passive. It conjures up the image of a student held hostage in a classroom, passively absorbing information. Training is what managers send employees through.

classroom.jpgBut learning is completely different. Learning is active, not passive. We choose to learn. We all want to learn, all the time, to experience new things. Learning occurs in the classroom, but it also happens on the job, at home, anywhere and everywhere; with others or by oneself. Others might control my training, but I control my learning. Which one is more likely to stick with me?

That’s why we created IAB University (IAB.U), an industry educational hub where everyone across the ecosystem, from every level, can come together to learn from each other. At IAB University you can be on the receiving end of digital advertising education or you can teach your peers. Plus, participants receive IAB Learning Credits good towards IAB Digital Media Sales or IAB Digital Ad Operations recertification programs, if they need them.
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The IAB is flush with subject matter experts. Experts abound. Need to learn the latest on programmatic? Interested in how native advertising works? Unclear on what a viewable impression is?  If there’s something you need to know about digital advertising, our members have the answers. The IAB has always been a tremendous resource for thought leadership and cutting-edge expertise; that’s truer today than ever as our industry continues its remarkable growth.

We realize more and more people come to the IAB to learn. We are attracting more junior level employees and people relatively new to the industry. Learning comes in all flavors— a webinar, a conference, a panel of experts, a town hall of newbies. Just about every program the IAB offers is a learning experience, and we hope you will take advantage of those learning experiences whether you are seeking recertification or just want to stay abreast of what’s happening out there.

But here’s our hope—that many of you will share your expertise or newly-found research with others in our community. Did your company just release a piece of research? Turn it into a webinar for IAB members. Are you an expert on some new trend? Put together a panel so that IAB members can discuss, at your place or ours. Let’s figure out a way to make learning continuous and collaborative.

We’re already beginning to put together a free program of learning opportunities. If you are interested in learning more about IAB University or want to be part of the IAB University “faculty” to let us know what you want to teach please start here iab.net/iabu.

And with that…

 About the Author


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Consumers are listening to more audio content than ever using an array of devices from computers to smartphones to connected stereos and cars, but audio advertising still only makes up a miniscule portion of digital ad dollars. Standardization and education are required for this to change and that’s what the IAB Audio Committee’s work is focused on.

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Advertisers, agencies and digital audio publishers gathered recently for the IAB Digital Audio Agency Day at Pandora HQ in Oakland to learn from industry experts about the future of digital audio and why it needs be included in their media buys. Kurt Hanson, CEO of AccuRadio, presented a history of the radio industry and his predictions for the future, to a stellar panel on the Connected Car with representatives from Spotify, Aha Radio at Harman International, TuneIn and Slacker (left picture). The ever-entertaining Norm Pattiz, Chairman of PodcastOne/Launchpad Media (right picture), proclaimed that podcasts are the future of digital audio.

One common theme has become clear: in order for the digital audio industry to scale, fragmentation at the technology layer must be overcome. Dean Mandel, Vice President of Broadcast Services at PROXi Digital (Formally Katz360) and active participant of the IAB Audio Ad Serving Template Spec Working Group, outlines the three key challenges that the IAB’s Audio committee is currently working to address: 

1. Digital audio ads are being bought by both traditional radio buyers and digital buyers, and both types of buyers need a way to accurately measure delivery of their campaigns. 

Radio buyers are used to “posting” their campaigns based on Arbitron ratings. However, since digital audio is technically online, there is a need for reporting equivalent metrics to other online campaigns. Online buyers are used to providing third-party tags like Dart For Advertisers (DFA) and using specifications like the Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) to track their digital display and video campaigns.  Similar standards must be developed and adopted by the digital audio industry.

2. The fact that audio ad units don’t have a visual component makes the use of a “tracking pixel” unpractical.  

One workaround for tracking audio ad units is to apply a third-party tag (in the form of a 1x1 pixel) to a companion display banner (a visual component to an audio ad), but not all audio devices have the visual interface necessary to fire a pixel. Accordingly, some advertisers have chosen to only serve audio ads in environments where a companion banner is served, yet in doing so, they are missing a large potential audience.  

We must find a better way to track the audio ad unit itself; a way that proves whether the ad has played, how much of the ad was played and any other possible interactions the user may make with the audio ad unit.

3. Several digital audio ad serving companies have developed proprietary methods to apply third-party tracking tags to audio, but there is a need to standardize this technology across the audio marketplace. 

The IAB Digital Audio Committee has launched a working group that includes several thought leaders in the streaming-audio industry who are addressing this task.  Over the past several months this group has begun the development of an ad serving template specification for audio ads similar to VAST for digital video. Once this important specification work is complete and adopted throughout the marketplace, media buyers will be able to easily run and track digital audio ads in a consistent manner across multiple platforms, similar to the way they do today with other digital platforms, allowing for growth in the digital audio market. 

IAB is excited to lead the effort to standardize the delivery of streaming audio advertising in order to ensure that advertisers, agencies and audio publishers may all share in the continued growth of the audio industry.

Stay tuned (pun intended!) for more to come on this topic.

About the Authors
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Dean Mandel
Dean Mandel is Vice President, Broadcast Services, PROXi Digital (Formerly Katz360). Dean was one of the founding members of Katz360 and has been helping the industry to monetize streaming audio for over 6 years.  He currently works with audio and video technology partners and content providers to help the streaming sales efforts for the Katz Media Group sellers. He can be reached on Twitter @deanmandel.

Leigh Ferreira
Leigh Ferreira is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and oversees the Digital Audio, Digital Video and ITV Committees. She can be reached on Twitter at @leighleighsf.
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Small Publishers Tell Congress: Don't Forget About Me

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“What keeps us coming back is that this event opens an opportunity for us that we don’t have on our own. Yes, we could call and make an appointment with someone in Congress, but we wouldn’t have the same impact. Secondly, this is a chance for us to network and get together with people who do similar jobs as us, and that’s very rare. There are a lot of long tail publishers, but not a lot of community amongst them. There are a lot of best practices and lessons learned that doesn’t get passed on. This gives us a chance to get input from other people in the industry and network on a personal basis.”  
— James Martin, Community Powered Media

Last week, more than 50 small publishers came to Washington D.C. to meet with 27 House and 9 Senate offices, representing 24 districts and 11 states plus the District of Columbia. Small publishers converged on DC to highlight the importance of the advertising-supported internet empowering small business growth in America.

Now in its fifth year, the IAB Long Tail Alliance Fly-In  brings small publishers to Washington, DC to educate Congress about what digital advertising means to them, their employees and their families. Small publishers, known as the “long tail” of the internet,  have been created and transformed in massive numbers across the U.S. with the advent of the ad-supported internet. Providing information and resources on a diversity of topics ranging from baking to politics, these small publishers represent the very best of the new economy of the internet.

The digital media landscape is not just about the larger players in the marketplace, but also the diversity of smaller voices seeking success on their own terms and scale. This annual trip to Washington for small publishers is part of IAB’s commitment to make sure that Capitol Hill does not overlook this crucial base of the internet economy that is powered by digital advertising.

Fly-In 2013Providing an opportunity for small publishers to speak directly to Congress  is the best means to bring to life the very real threat posed by ill-conceived legislation that would disproportionately impact small publishers. These small publishers  are the new face of ‘mom and pop’ shops. They represent a diversity of voices that simply could not exist without interactive advertising.

The Fly-In also included a full day of training sessions and roundtable discussions created specifically to address the business interests of small publishers. Small publishers, ad networks, and media executives shared actionable insights on how the community of small publishers can improve their businesses. The two-day event also served as a unique networking opportunity for small publishers, who, for the most part, work from their homes and have limited opportunities to meet other small publishers like themselves.

About the Author

Alison Pepper

Alison Pepper

Alison Pepper is Senior Director of Public Policy, Interactive Advertising Bureau.