Your one-stop for the most important articles in digital marketing this week. In this post, our team dives deep to get you the latest digital marketing news in one place. Enjoy!
TAG study shines light on ad fraud battle
The 614 Group study compared invalid traffic (IVT) rates in TAG Certified Channels against industry norms by measuring more than 43 billion ad impressions from January-December 2019 from three of the largest advertising agency holding companies across the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. The results show a 94 percent reduction in digital advertising fraud when compared to industry norms. Companies achieving the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal in Europe has more than tripled over the last two years. New requirements for the TAG Certified Against Fraud Program require all companies certifying in 2020 for Europe to undergo independent validation of their program compliance. The full 2020 study can be found here.
Pixalate release 2019 App-ads.txt and ADS.txt trends report
Over 1.2 million domains now have ads.txt files. The report updates programmatic buyers and sellers on the latest trends around the IAB Tech Lab’s initiatives. Key report findings: 5,550% growth in app-ads.txt adoption in 2019; Apps with app-ads.txt had 13% less invalid traffic (IVT). However, domains with ads.txt had more IVT (17%) compared to those without; Top SSPs. Google and Rubicon Project rank high across the board on both app-ads.txt and ads.txt files.
Tackling LGBT+ blocklists: publishers and agencies rally against digital censorship
In January Cheq revealed that nearly three-quarters (73%) of neutral or positive LGBT+ online new stories are incorrectly flagged due to blocklists. Titles like Attitude and PinkNews face having as much as 73% of their stories flagged as ‘brand unsafe’ with terms like ‘lesbian’ ‘bisexual’ and ‘drag queens’ making it onto advertisers’ keyword exclusion. Big networks have already started to work on their own solutions. Mindshare USA has developed a LGBT+ private marketplace (PMP) to address the issue raised by LGBT+ blocklists. The PMP aggregates publishers into one negotiated inclusion list so that brands support LGBT-specific publications as well as the LGBT+ content at broader publications.
500 Delisted Chrome Browser Extensions Part of Massive Ad Fraud Campaign Active for Years
The scheme was uncovered by independent security researcher Jamila Kaya, in partnership with researchers from Duo Security. The team initially found 71 of these malicious browser extensions on the Chrome Web Store; after privately reporting their findings to the company, Google’s internal security team found over 430 more that were tied into the ad fraud scheme. Collectively, all of these extensions were downloaded and installed over 1.7 million times and may have been going on for over two years before being discovered. The scam relied on browser extensions that actually performed some sort of legitimate function on the surface. However, underneath the surface, they were also exfiltrating data and redirecting users to a variety of sites in the scam network.
Are industry reports downplaying ad fraud?
Digital ad fraud has been documented for over a decade now, but still no one can agree on how much of it there is. Some say it’s low to “non-existent” while others say fraud is at its highest point ever. Who is right? To find out, this article digs deeper to understand who is saying what and what their hidden motives are. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Australia, The Association of National Advertisers (in the US), and TAG (Trustworthy Accountability Group), a certification body created and funded by the ANA, IAB, 4As, and GroupM have all made claims of ad fraud reduction. However, year after year, “largest ever” botnets made from malware on millions of devices have been documented to be successfully making money through ad fraud. Aside from malware and botnets, independent journalists and researchers outside of the establishment continued to document massive cases of fraud.
See hundreds of articles from 2008 to present: History of Ad Fraud Spreadsheet
So there you have it friends, the best articles for this week. Make sure to check back every week for a quick absorption of the most relevant articles in the industry and stay on top of your game.