DoubleVerify Acquires Leiki; GroupM UK Verified by ABC to JICWEBS Anti Ad-Fraud & Brand …

In this weekly segment, ExchangeWire sums up key industry updates on ad tech from around the European region – and in this edition: DoubleVerify …

In this weekly segment, ExchangeWire sums up key industry updates on ad tech from around the European region – and in this edition: DoubleVerify Acquires Leiki; GroupM UK Verified by ABC to JICWEBS Anti Ad-Fraud & Brand-Safety Principles; Tappx Partners with Pixalate to Guard Against Connected TV/OTT Ad Fraud; Vivaldi Acquires Gravity Thinking; and GeoEdge First to Bring Real-Time Ad Security & Quality to Mobile In-App Environments

DoubleVerify Acquires Leiki

DoubleVerify, the leading independent provider of marketing measurement software and analytics, announced on Sunday (14 January) that it has acquired Leiki, Ltd., a leading contextual intelligence and content classification platform headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, and with operations across Europe. The transaction was completed as an all-cash, all-stock offer on 27 December, 2018.

The Leiki acquisition further strengthens DV’s core global brand reputation capabilities, ensuring that brands advertising on the internet are matched with appropriate and relevant content. Leiki’s semantic AI software engine provides high-definition analysis of any piece of text (e.g. complex news articles) or contextual video data. DoubleVerify uses content analysis data to protect brand reputation throughout the media transaction (pre- and post-bid) and to enable proactive contextual targeting of content aligned with a brand’s equity or target audience profile.

The acquisition also brings a tenured team with specialised ontological expertise and deep relationships with brands and premium publishers internationally. Moreover, Leiki experts classify content in-language worldwide – helping DV address the brand reputation needs of its global customer base.

Commenting on the acquisition, Wayne Gattinella, DoubleVerify CEO, said: “Leiki’s data-driven technology platform and advanced content classification expertise dovetail perfectly with DV’s global brand reputation offering – a core competency since our company’s inception over a decade ago. We are delighted to welcome the Leiki team – a uniquely talented group, who are experts in language ontology and content analysis.”

Leiki CEO and founder, Dr Petrus Pennanen, added: “The entire Leiki team is thrilled to join forces with DoubleVerify – a rapidly expanding, global organisation with a best-in-class brand reputation solution. We are going to market with even stronger capabilities through close integration of Leiki’s semantic technology and expertise with DV’s industry-wide platform.”

GroupM UK Verified by ABC to JICWEBS Anti Ad-Fraud & Brand-Safety Principles

GroupM UK, the world’s leading media investment group, has achieved two JICWEBS Seals of Compliance, as verified by independent auditor ABC, demonstrating that the company has met industry-agreed standards to actively reduce the risk of both advertising misplacement (linked to the issue of brand safety) and exposure to advertising fraud.

The JICWEBS Principles are industry-approved guidelines against which media buyers, publishers, or intermediaries can be verified. The aim of the Principles, and ABC’s verification programme, is to promote confidence in the industry by demonstrating that companies like GroupM UK are providing targeted protection against some of the key issues affecting the online advertising industry.

JICs (Joint Industry Currencies) ABC and JICWEBS are supplying the online media industry with a trusted and robust currency on which media space can be bought and sold.

Stevan Randjelovic, brand safety manager, GroupM EMEA, comments: “At a time when brand safety and ad fraud remain core digital advertising challenges, we believe the industry should be committing to best industry practices and independent certification, which is the core mission of JICWEBS. We are pleased to receive our DTSG seal once again and obtain the anti-ad fraud accreditation for the first time – both applicable across all GroupM divisions. This not only demonstrates our commitment to media quality and integrity, but that we truly walk the talk.”

Simon Redlich, chief executive, ABC, adds: “Congratulations to GroupM UK for achieving two JICWEBS Seals following verification by ABC. This recognises its compliance with the JICWEBS Principles for both anti-fraud and brand safety. GroupM UK is leading by example in demonstrating its commitment to a safer, more transparent digital ad trading environment.”

For more information on ABC’s Verification Services click here.

Tappx Partners with Pixalate to Guard Against Connected TV/OTT Ad Fraud

Tappx has partnered with Pixalate in order to offer advanced invalid traffic (IVT) detection technology for its over-the-top (OTT) services. The global Tappx solutions, which will be enhanced by Pixalate technology, includes ‘Ad-Replacement’ services for digital TV; ‘Dynamic Ad Insertions’ (DAI), digital TV ad time-slot detection and insertion of programmatic video ads; and ‘Addressable TV’ ads, which deliver targeted and personalised ads based on TV user interests.

Traditionally speaking, OTT was a ‘secure environment’, typically set within the parameters of ‘digital commercial sales’ and championed by larger broadcasters and publishers. However, OTT has evolved over the years. There are a growing number of viral content platforms appearing each day across an ever-expanding app ecosystem. OTT advertising spend continues to grow at a rapid pace – Magna projects a 40% jump in 2018 – but the fragmented ecosystem has opened the door for fraudulent activity.

Jalal Nasir, Pixalate CEO, comments: “Marketers have expressed concerns over inventory quality and ad fraud in OTT; and our industry-first MRC accreditation directly addresses those challenges. OTT advertising is rapidly expanding; and as the industry’s first solution for ad-fraud detection and prevention in OTT, Pixalate is ready to guard the growing investments.”

José Manuel González Pacheco, advanced TV and audio advertising strategist and partnerships director, Tappx, adds: “The importance of trust and transparency, combined with the ability to control anti-fraudulent activities, directly correlates to a ‘maximum priority’ for advertising and content service providers. Pixalate brings outstanding protection to the Tappx portfolio of in-app programmatic solutions, and now we’re pleased to utilise Pixalate MRC-accredited solutions for OTT. Pixalate has helped Tappx implement strategies that reduced IVT by blocking fraudulent apps and increasing app scale.”

Vivaldi Acquires Gravity Thinking

Global strategy firm Vivaldi announced Wednesday (16 January) the acquisition of London-based award-winning digital creative agency Gravity Thinking – whose clients include Hyundai, Pizza Hut, and William Grant & Sons – as part of its drive to deliver tangible impact and proven growth strategies to clients.

The deal adds Gravity’s innovative social and digital marketing capabilities to Vivaldi’s existing business, brand strategy, and data analytics offering, allowing the combined group to deliver strategies based on demonstrable impact, supported by first-rate customer journey analytics and brand funnel optimisation. The two companies are already working together on clients in the enterprise software, tourism, and retail sectors.

Gravity Thinking’s managing partners Stephen Firth and Andrew Roberts will join Vivaldi’s leadership team and continue to be based in London. All of Gravity Thinking’s staff will be retained and will work closely with Vivaldi’s global team across their nine offices, including New York, Chicago, Toronto, Buenos Aires, London, Zurich, and Munich.

Gravity Thinking was advised by leading growth and M&A advisors Waypoint Partners who supported the managing partners throughout the process, leveraging an acute understanding of the M&A landscape to bring the deal to completion.

The announcement caps a year of expansion, client growth, and new thought leadership for Vivaldi. The combined organisation, driven by an agile methodology to launch new ideas, concepts, and brands in the market, will be integral to delivering the company’s flagship work on platform business models.

Tom Ajello, Vivaldi’s global chief creative officer, comments: “Our industry still operates in silos. Yet people and brands have evolved – we are the only independent global player that has the passion and persistence to successfully merge what others have kept separated for too long.”

Erich Joachimsthaler, Vivaldi founder and CEO, adds: “The deliberate integration of strategy expertise, award-winning creativity, and in-market activation is absolutely necessary in the new model of building brands. I’m looking forward to an exciting year ahead, bringing together these two companies that share similar views and cultures.”

Gravity Thinking managing partner, Andrew Roberts, said: “We’re thrilled to join the Vivaldi family and are inspired by their pioneering thought leadership on brand-building and growth. We are looking forward to working with them to bring growth strategies to life through in-market activation.”

Founded in 2007 by managing partners, Andrew Roberts and Stephen Firth, Gravity Thinking has gained acclaim with many of the world’s forward-looking brands for its unique storytelling and relentless focus on data, resulting in the delivery of innovative marketing and measurable social and digital activation.

Otto Stevens, partner at Waypoint Partners, concludes: “Vivaldi’s acquisition of Gravity Thinking is smart, mutually beneficial, and has client interests at its core. Vivaldi has taken a significant step towards the development of deeper executional capabilities and strengthened its foothold in the European market; while Gravity has unlocked the potential for rapid growth and gained access to a new calibre of client. We’re proud of our role in facilitating this deal.”

Alongside Waypoint Partners, Gravity Thinking was advised on legal issues by Kemp Little, whilst Vivaldi used Humphreys Law for its legal and tax counsel.

GeoEdge First to Bring Real-Time Ad Security & Quality to Mobile In-App Environments

Despite a decrease in mobile threats in 2018, according to security firm Avast, the company reported a 49% increase in ad-based malware last year; and just last week, researchers at security provider Trend Micro discovered 85 different apps pushing adware to unsuspecting Android users.

According to data from GeoEdge’s real-time blocking, the majority of malicious and sexually offensive ads discovered over the last six months were on iOS and not Android.

To address the growing challenges of malicious and sexually offensive in-app ads, GeoEdge, the premier provider of ad security and verification solutions for the digital advertising ecosystem, released on Wednesday (16 January) its solution for in-app real-time blocking of malicious and inappropriate ads. This SDK is the digital marketplace’s first available innovation for blocking bad ads in real time within the in-app environment.

With eMarketer projecting that two-thirds of programmatic ad budgets will go towards mobile next year (of which 90% will be bought programmatically), and with in-app growing much faster than the mobile web, publishers and app developers need to provide their users with the same protection and security on mobile that is provided on desktop. The digital industry has already seen advances like header bidding and ads.txt expand into mobile environments. However, up until now, security and ad quality in mobile have lagged behind the standards that have become customary on desktop.

GeoEdge brings mobile security and quality up to speed. Using the same proprietary, patent-pending technology that powers GeoEdge’s widely adopted solutions for the broader web, it detects security issues, inappropriate and sexually offensive ad creative, and user experience issues at the pre-impression level delivered by any of the major mediator SDKs. The tool blocks the bad ad before it renders and replaces it with an alternate ad already verified as safe and appropriate. This allows publishers to protect their users without losing the revenue they rely on for the future of their business. GeoEdge technology identifies issues ranging from redirects, drive-by downloads, viruses, and malicious files, to adult content, pop-ups, and device vibrations. GeoEdge is unique among ad security and quality vendors in its ability to identify and block inappropriate ad creative in real time, rather than just identifying the security risks.

Poor-quality ads increase a site’s bounce rate and lead to churn among a publisher’s or app developer’s users. By preserving the integrity of the in-app ad experience, publishers can more easily nurture their audiences, and provide them with quality, relevant content. Trusted and safe in-app environments promote loyalty, increase the lifetime value of the user, and drive greater overall revenue for the publisher and app developer.

GeoEdge presents developers with a mobile SDK that they can integrate directly into the app. It provides, via a web-based console, full reports on all activity the technology observes in the app environment. It also provides a BI view of data that can be visualised at the demand-source level.

This SDK solution is the logical next step in GeoEdge’s long-standing mission to preserve user experience and to allow publishers to combat bad ads proactively.

Amnon Siev, CEO, GeoEdge, comments: “By offering a Mediation SDK integrated with real-time blocking, GeoEdge is taming malicious and offensive ads and content on mobile by replacing the offending ads and content with safe ones, ensuring the revenue stream for app developers and a safe experience for users.”

GeoEdge enables the supply side to focus on publishing. The company handles malicious and unsafe advertising so that publishers, app developers, and supply-side clients can focus on optimising their advertiser campaigns and provide better and more effective relations with their clients in the time saved. GeoEdge enabled clients to find a 90-95% reduction in complaints, through the elimination of offensive and malicious ads, and gain full transparency and visibility of their entire ad inventory beyond the blocked malicious ads, enabling better management of each partner’s brand-safety needs.

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Types of Ad Fraud

Ad fraud is a big, costly problem in our industry. To fight it, you have to understand the different forms it can take. The brand safety experts at Peer39 …

Ad fraud is a big, costly problem in our industry. To fight it, you have to understand the different forms it can take. The brand safety experts at Peer39 typically divide ad fraud into three categories: non-human traffic (i.e., bots); ads with zero chance of being seen (i.e., zero-percent viewability); and intentional misrepresentation. The imposters who are responsible for these kinds of fraud are savvy, and they are continually finding new and more sophisticated ways to make money by defrauding advertisers.


Here’s a closer look at some of the most common types of fraud:

Bot basics

General invalid traffic (GIVT)arescripts that run from a server such as Amazon Web Services or some other hosting provider. As their name implies, these bots are usually easy to identify because they have a static IP, user agent, and cookie ID. This makes fingerprinting them pretty easy using DSP auction logs or even web server logs to spot abnormally high clickthrough rate (CTR) or unexpected spikes in traffic that are the signatures of simple bots.

Sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT)is not as easy to identify. These bots rotate user agents, using random proxies to rotate IP addresses, and they mimic normal “human” CTRs, so they are more challenging to detect. They are also now capable of completing complicated tasks like filling out forms or completing videos. Sophisticated bots can even put items in shopping carts and visit multiple sites to generate histories and cookies—making them look attractive to advertisers and publishers.

The unviewable

Ad stackingisacommon way that fraudulent publishers get credit for running an ad that is actually hidden behind other ads and not viewable. The publisher can thereby generate multiple impressions for a single page view, even when only the top ad in the “stack” is ever seen.

Site scams

Domain spoofingis a scheme employed bydeceitful publishers, ad exchanges, or networks to obscure the nature of their traffic to resemble legitimate websites. For example, an advertiser might sign off on a contract to run a campaign on a legitimate entertainment website with very high monthly traffic, but instead its ads end up on an unknown site. This practice is most prevalent in the programmatic space where publishers are sometimes allowed to declare their own domains and label their own site IDs. Spoofed domains are not just fake website addresses, they are also banner farms that contain bad content.

Ghost sitesare among the most difficultfraud methods for advertisers to spot. Fraudsters create content farms and use bots to mimic human traffic. The sites may then be introduced to a legitimate ad exchange, where ad impressions are made available for advertisers to buy programmatically. Exchanges usually spot these schemes quickly, but even a short lifespan can be profitable to the ghost site creators.

Zero-adsites arethosewhere advertising is forbidden, such as government or educational sites. But fraudsters still find ways to inject ads into them when a user downloads and installs a browser extension or app (such as a free PDF converter or browser toolbar) bundled with software that quietly injects unwanted ads into the user’s browser.

Fraud is lucrative

The scale of online ad fraud has a significant impact on advertising ROI and advertiser confidence because all those falsified impressions and clicks cost money without yielding conversions or revenue. It’s estimated that fraud consumes $1 of every $3 spent on digital advertising. In 2018, and advertisers lost an estimated $51 million every day to fraud, a figure that is expected to more than double by 2022. Time and time again, advertisers unwittingly reinvest in fraudulent inventory because it appears on reports to be driving results. Worst of all, ad fraud is not technically illegal, so there is minimal risk for bad actors.

Protection is possible

Because fraud schemes continually evolve, effective fraud prevention requires staying one step ahead of their game. Peer39 does this by tackling the problem from every angle, both before and after the buy. Peer39 pre-bid antifraud targeting helps marketers exclude fraud from the buy up front, eliminating zero-ad sites and other fake inventory. Peer39 post-buy solutions offer multichannel, AI-driven fraud detection and filtration that enables you to monitor viewability and detect bots and other invalid traffic threats—even difficult-to-detect schemes and domain spoofing.


Fraud isn’t going anywhere, but with vigilance, you can significantly reduce your exposure and protect your investment.

Contact a your account rep or a Peer39 account manager to keep your next campaign fraud-free.

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Influential Forms Bot Fraud Prevention Council Alongside OMD, WME, Oracle Data Cloud, and IRI

Influential is an AI social data and conversion technology, as well as a “With Watson” partner of IBM Watson and a Facebook Marketing Partner.

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Influential, a leading AI influencer technology, Social Intelligence firm and IBM “With Watson” partner, announced the founding of the Bot Fraud Prevention Council (BFPC), bringing together some of the industry’s most respected companies to take a firm stance against bot fraud and the negative effects that it brings to the advertising and marketing ecosystem.

The goal of the BFPC is to provide advanced identification, reporting and removal of bot accounts and engagement from marketing campaigns and social media platforms. The sharing of methodology, technology, and resources to protect brands, talent agencies and ad agencies from fraud is the primary objective of the BFPC. The council’s first charter members include industry leading organizations OMD, a global media agency; WME, a leading entertainment agency; Oracle Data Cloud, which owns the Moat Measurement solution; IRI, a market research and media measurement company, and Lucidity, a blockchain technology that delivers real time transparent measurement to combat fraud and improve performance. These organizations, along with future members, will work together in putting forth fraud prevention and detection best practices.

“We’re working toward setting the standards for what all marketers should expect from advertising platforms and vendors, when evaluating a campaign in its entirety,” said Ryan Detert, CEO of Influential. “We’re incredibly pleased that we’re not alone in the fight against bot fraud, and our amazing charter members all bring unique capabilities and domain expertise to the table, which will help this council make substantial change throughout the industry.”

To create the BFPC, Influential and its charter members turned to Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), a first-of-its-kind cross-industry accountability program, as the forum for helping to broaden out the BFPC’s important work. “Bot Fraud is an important issue that compromises the integrity of the entire digital media industry,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG. “TAG has been actively working to combat this problem for several years and we are thrilled to see a group come together to specifically address the fraud that can exist in the influencer marketing ecosystem.”

The guiding principles behind the BFPC are as follows:

– Council members will only work with known and trustworthy partners

– The council will aim to identify and remove any non-human activity on social platforms

– Create more transparency for marketers to have greater effectiveness in their influencer campaigns

– Create a central hub where reporting and methodologies can be continually shared and improved upon

According to a recent report, bots create about half of internet traffic across all websites, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) estimates online ad fraud costs advertisers $8.2 billion annually. The objective of the BFPC is to empower the digital media industry with transparent, valid, and effective bot fraud prevention and detection solutions. Ushering in 2019, the council is set on developing solutions to significantly lower bot fraud occurrences and its effect on marketing campaigns, across all mediums and platforms.

“Bot fraud is an issue that can be kept at bay, so long as businesses and technology work together in order to provide tangible solutions. OMD created a product called the iScore last year in partnership with Influential that addressed this rampant issue and we are excited to be taking the next step in combating bot fraud,” said Kerry Perse, Managing Director at OMD.

The council will hold regular monthly calls and quarterly meetings to discuss best practices, methodologies and new solutions that can help solve fraudulent incidents across the council’s combined client rosters. There will also be a shared central hub of information available transparently to all members of the BFPC and members of TAG. Members of the BFPC will also organize and participate in panels at major tentpole advertising industry events throughout the year. The BFPC will launch with a panel of its charter members at Brand Innovators’ Mega-Trends event at CES.

For more information about the Bot Fraud Council, please visit https://www.tagtoday.net/news/principles-fighting-influencer-fraud.

About Influential

Influential is an AI social data and conversion technology, as well as a “With Watson” partner of IBM Watson and a Facebook Marketing Partner. Utilizing a network of over 300,000 social media influencers as a tactic for distribution, Influential runs both native and paid campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube for Fortune 500 brands including Walmart, McDonald’s, Pepsi, Nestlé, General Mills, Toyota, Samsung, Sony Pictures and many more. Influential is the only company that can track deterministic one-to-one in-store foot traffic and sales attribution from paid influencer posts, as well as TV tune-in lift and attribution. Influential is a strategic partner of WME and Oracle Data Cloud and has offices in Beverly Hills, New York City, and Las Vegas. (www.influential.co)

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SOURCE Influential

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MoPub partners with Pixalate, DoubleVerify to combat mobile ad fraud

Twitter’s MoPub has agreed to a traffic quality partnership with Pixalate and DoubleVerify to fight mobile ad fraud across its exchange. According to …

Twitter’s MoPub has agreed to a traffic quality partnership with Pixalate and DoubleVerify to fight mobile ad fraud across its exchange.

According to information from MoPub, which helps publishers sell media space, in-app fraud is estimated to have cost marketers $4.9bn in 2018.

The trio will take a four-step approach to ensure traffic quality. They will: leverage data to analyze, evaluate and vet mobile app publishers; create an automated, real-time, pre-bid protocol to block invalid bid requests; monitor suspicious post-bid activity; and leverage Twitter’s global scale back enforcement.

“Partnerships are crucial to the effort. We believe that [Media Rating Council]-accredited vendors like Pixalate and DoubleVerify offer the expertise, technology, data integrity and service needed to help us keep a clean exchange for the trillions of ad requests that we facilitate,” said Boris Logvinskiy, MoPub’s head of product.

The data-driven partnership will analyze traffic signals including viewability rates, ad implementation, app store rankings, downloads and other fraud indicators like impressions generated by crawlers, background ad activity and spoofing, or ad misrepresentation.

“[DoubleVerify’s] partnership with MoPub reflects our commitment to provide consistent, comprehensive quality coverage for global brand advertisers,” said Matt McLaughlin, chief operating officer at DoubleVerify. “With ad spend increasingly concentrated in mobile, it’s imperative that brands have clarity into the quality of mobile app inventory. We are proud of our partnership with MoPub, which expands the footprint of our fraud prevention capabilities and further distinguishes DV as the leader for mobile app verification.”

Jalal Nasir, chief executive at Pixalate, said mobile in-app is the company’s top channel for digital ad spend and “is a top area of investment for Pixalate’s fraud prevention and app discovery platform.”

MoPub handles over 1.5tn live auctions a month and files ad inventory on over 50,000 mobile apps.

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Online Advertisers Embrace Blockchain to Fight Fraud

IBM Corp., Toyota Corp., and a growing number of startups are using blockchains to try to crack down on online advertising fraud. The complexity of …

IBM Corp., Toyota Corp., and a growing number of startups are using blockchains to try to crack down on online advertising fraud.

The complexity of online advertising and the struggle to track ad spending has allowed fraudsters to avoid being caught, attorneys told Bloomberg Law. But blockchain technology can uncover ad performance discrepancies and let advertisers and publishers know how many clicks an ad is really getting, the attorneys said.

“Blockchain dramatically reduces the incidence of fraud,” Matthew Savare, a digital advertising attorney at Lowenstein Sandler LLP and a member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s blockchain working group, said.

Digital advertising is increasingly dominating the ad industry. Online advertising will account for 51.8 percent of total global advertising spending in 2020, up from 45.5 percent in 2018, Bloomberg Intelligence data show.

Ad fraud is a “big deal” for the digital media ecosystem, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Paul Sweeney said. Fraudulent activity could cost advertisers $44 billion globally in 2022, up from $18.7 billion in 2018, according to Juniper Research, a digital market research firm.

Most ad fraud comes in the form of automated accounts, or bots, that inflate ad clicks, and companies offering ad space on fake websites. Fraudulent vendors sell advertising space on websites that don’t exist, or even real sites to which they lack access. Traffic brokers sell bot traffic at low costs to publishers to make it appear that a large number of people have clicked on an ad. A complex supply chain makes it difficult to know if an ad ran where it was supposed to, and how many people actually saw it.

Low-quality publishers with fake websites are primarily responsible for digital fraud, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Geetha Ranganathan said. “It’s not so simple however since there is a fairly long supply chain when it comes to programmatic advertising and in some cases the vendors in the ecosystem are also responsible,” she said.

Blockchain promises to help remedy the problem by making the advertising ecosystem more transparent, attorneys say. The technology allows users to see and verify transactions on an unchangeable, decentralized digital record. It allows participants in an advertising supply chain to track each transaction and identify and resolve disparities in the data.

Leveraging Blockchain

The digital ledger technology is gaining momentum as advertising companies realize the benefits of having an unchangeable record of ad performance data. The Interactive Advertising Bureau launched a pilot program in July to explore how blockchain can solve digital advertising challenges, including supply-chain transparency and data discrepancies.

IBM has teamed up with software company Mediaocean to create a blockchain platform to show marketers advertising impact and help them detect suspicious activity, Babs Rangaiah, executive partner of global marketing at IBM iX, told Bloomberg Law.

Toyota has begun using a blockchain platform by advertising analytics firm Lucidity to track ad performance and identify miscalculations and fraudulent activity. Toyota has seen its ad performance, which can include clicks and length of time spent viewing the ad, improve by more than 20 percent since using the platform, according to Lucidity.

Many Players

The digital advertising industry has had a “long history of disputes” because the players involved struggle to keep consistent records on ad metrics, Laura Jehl, co-leader of Baker & Hostetler LLP’s blockchain technologies and digital currencies team, said.

Dozens of parties—online ad networks, digital service providers, ad exchanges, and other intermediaries—are part of the digital advertising ecosystem. Each may measure ad performance differently, and some may miscalculate metrics by mistake.

Discrepancies in metrics and billing open the door for fraud, Sam Goldberg, Lucidity’s president and co-founder, said. “It’s far more difficult to get caught with a lack of transparency,” he said.

Blockchains allow advertisers for the first time to verify whether they’re getting exactly what they paid for, attorneys and industry representatives said.

All participants have access to a single, validated data set in real time showing how many ads have been placed, where they appear, how many times they’ve been clicked, and what type of audience is seeing them, Jehl said.

A majority of participants have to agree on the data for it to appear on the blockchain. Advertisers and publishers can analyze the data to detect and weed out invalid metrics, Jehl said.

“Everyone can see the same information and spend less time arguing about what ran where,” Jehl said.

Disputes Rampant

While most advertising disputes are resolved privately, according to attorneys, such disputes can lead to costly litigation.

Facebook Inc. faces allegations in three separate lawsuits that it has inflated the amount of time users are watching video ads and misrepresented the number of people an ad will reach, Bloomberg Law data show.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google faces four ongoing suits over its advertising practices, the data show. The cases include allegations that Google failed to pay web publishers for ad revenue and misrepresented how it filters out fraudulent ad clicks. A lawsuit against Twitter Inc. accuses the social network of inflating prices for ad space due to the presence of fake accounts on its site.

Advertisers and other companies will continue working to apply and build out the technology to limit fraud, Kimberly Culp, a digital media attorney and director at Carr McClellan PC in Burlingame, Calif., said.

“There’s momentum in this direction,” Culp said.

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