Ad Quality: the Multi-Million Dollar “Hidden Risk” for Publishers and Ad Networks

the Rubicon Project’s Ad Quality Protection Program Stops Bad Ads in Their Tracks, Blocking 40 Million Undesirable Ads on Behalf of Website Publishers
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NEW YORK – Amidst overall economic mayhem, the advertising industry is undergoing a massive shake-up. Shrinking traditional media budgets appear to be making way for an increase in online marketing dollars, as Internet advertising is a potent alternative for advertisers seeking clear, measurable return on their ad spend. The influx of dollars and advertisers brings great opportunity to Web sites, but also exacerbates a long-standing problem for top-tier publishers: the risk of inappropriate ads showing up amidst their high-end content. the Rubicon Project, an online advertising technology company, has created the industry’s first comprehensive solution to stop unwanted (e.g. those that contain adult content or promote competitive brands) ads in their tracks – protecting Web publishers and preventing inventory loss for ad networks at a crucial time for the industry.

The Rubicon Project’s Ad Quality Protection Program combines proprietary data-driven technology and unparalleled round-the-clock account support to provide publishers with a deep and proactive security layer that prevents undesirable ads from making it onto websites and in front of consumer eyes. For publishers, the Rubicon Project acts as an extension of an in-house ad-operations team, constantly ensuring ad quality standards aren’t compromised. Specific highlights of the Ad Quality Protection Program include:

* helix, a patent-pending artificial intelligence technology that auto-detects and flags inappropriate ads based on image content. Algorithmically driven, helix becomes smarter with every image it processes;
* Proactive screening of all publishers’ networks to ensure ad quality standards are upheld;
* Pausing of any offending ad tags until the problem is resolved. To date, 20,000 ad creatives have been frozen that, unchecked, would have been viewed by consumers as many as 40 million times;
* Ad Tag Screener, which allows publishers to directly pause offending network tags any time, day or night;
* Certification of every ad network to ensure compliance with each site’s ad quality standards before providing access to premium publishers;
* Pre-screening of all campaigns before they go live, as well as ongoing review of all advertising creatives to ensure ad quality standards are upheld;
* Dedicated account management team committed to meeting publisher’s business goals providing 24/7 operations support.

the Rubicon Project estimates that the absence of an across-the-board solution to filter unwanted ads can put up to 30% of publishers’ ad revenue at risk. The impact of unwanted ads damages a publisher’s brand value and reputation on multiple fronts by creating a negative user experience and driving away site visitors and the revenue they bring; de-valuing ad rates, which handicaps a sales team’s ability to sell at rate card prices; and alienating premium advertisers whose quality creative can be degraded by placement next to an offending ad.

“As a premium publisher that needs to maintain tight control over inventory running through ad networks, being able to manage the context of ads that appear on my site through ad networks is crucial,” said Andreas Droste, VP Sales & Marketing,, a Rubicon Project customer. “Working with the Rubicon Project has been a relief. We no longer worry about ad quality affecting our brand or rates, spend hours managing the filtering of new ads or deal with the stress of policing ad networks. We feel safe knowing the Rubicon Project is taking care of it for us and is maximizing revenue without sacrificing any of our standards.”

Ad networks also benefit from the Ad Quality Protection Program. Working with the Rubicon Project prevents them from unintentionally serving undesirable ads, which is often grounds for immediate termination by publisher clients representing crucial revenue and quality inventory.

“Ad quality is the #1 risk top-tier web publishers face. Our goal is to help publishers protect their brand and make sure the user experience isn’t sacrificed or violated by providing technology and service that directly addresses and solves top concerns of ad quality,” said Frank Addante, CEO and co-founder of the Rubicon Project. “We aim to improve the efficiencies between ad networks and publishers to create a more harmonious and lucrative online advertising industry, especially in these trying economic times. No one else is providing the same level of support and innovation for publishers when it comes to ad quality.”

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About the Rubicon Project

Based in Los Angeles, the Rubicon Project launched in 2007 on a mission to automate the $65 billion global online advertising industry. Responding to one of the largest problems plaguing website publishers today – monetizing ad space that goes unsold (as much as 70 – 80 percent) across a fast-growing number of global ad networks – the Rubicon Project pioneered the category of Ad Network Optimization (ANO). Backed by $22 million in funding from Mayfield Fund, Clearstone Ventures and IDG Ventures, the Rubicon Project developed its patent-pending Smart Matching™ technology, which uses billions of pieces of proprietary market data to match each publisher ad impression to the best money-making opportunities from ad networks.

The company serves 1300 premium customers (publishers like Gannett, Salon, Washington Post/Newsweek Interactive and American Greetings) by optimizing more than 15 billion ads each month across 300 ad networks. Reaching more than 240 million unique Internet users, the Rubicon Project is one of the largest sources of ad inventory and reach on the Internet and the preferred source of targeted, audience-segmented inventory for ad networks around the world. The unique combination of ad network optimization and Smart Matching™ technology drives revenue lift ranging from 30-300% for the Rubicon Project’s customers.

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