How to Handle the Risks of Programmatic and Direct Campaigns

Answer me this: what is the meaning of ad security and verification for publishers?

I’m not talking about the typical definition of ad security which refers to website scanning or how supply-side ad verification often refers to ad quality control and visibility. The true meaning for ad security and verification becomes clear the moment we think about the “why” of their use.

Publishers need solutions that prevent ad campaigns from disrupting their sites, apps and user experience. If you are saying to yourself, “Yes, of course I know”, then please skip to the last section. For all others (who like so many could use further clarification), read on!

The two main ways to fill a publisher’s ad inventory, direct campaigns and programmatic, both have their benefits – and their risks.

Programmatic: The Uncontrollable Web

In the programmatic ecosystem, every publisher faces the huge issues of user security and low ad quality. While this third-party ad serving system is necessary to fill ad inventory and to generate greater revenue – the flip side leads to user and brand harm, and sometimes ruin.

Programmatic is a highly complex and complicated ad distribution system that allows bad actors to maintain anonymity and have maximum reach with their malware. Issues of exploit kits, ransomware, Trojan horses, among others, are discovered constantly. Users infected with malware tend to go directly to furious. Those users then tend to go social.

Another major problem stemming from programmatic is bad ad quality. Sure, you can tell your SSPs not to allow offensive ads (you know which I mean), over 15 HTTP requests (the current IAB standard), large-size file ads (which cause site latency) autoplay sound (how annoying) or other off-limit units, but they have ways of sneaking through.

Direct Campaigns: Configure & QA. Rinse, Repeat.

While on the direct side, the creative can be evaluated before reaching users, yet the whole process is lacking, laborious and drawn-out. It is up to the publisher to verify the ads – which means using a variety of tools (and manual tests!) to check the ads for industry and brand compliance. Talk about a lot of menial work. Configure and QA. Configure and QA.

From IO to live launch, the ad and landing pages need to be input, tested and launched. If there’s an issue, there’s back and forth and back between the publisher and partner – and then the creative needs to be retested before launch. The wide array of possible problems range from compliance issues with brand compliance (formats) to operational aspects (file size, the “X’ in the corner of the ad) to ad quality (creative’s content).

The Right Ad Security & Verification

The right ad security solution puts the end-user in focus and protects them from any and all malicious activity. The ad verification solution prevents poor ad quality and lack of compliance. These solutions sit as an independent third-party to handle the tough issues and ensure a clean, safe and engaging user experience.

At GeoEdge, we excel in ad security and verification for direct and programmatic campaigns.

The GeoEdge Pitch

As our scope of solutions is focused only on the digital advertising ecosystem, we know every current and emerging threat and ad quality issue. GeoEdge provides comprehensive, real-time malware protection and ad quality solutions for your online, mobile, and video ads.

In programmatic, we provide targeted, customized security checks with a high accuracy of detection for malicious advertising. That means you don’t have to waste time with false positives. You don’t have to worry about third-party ad serving bringing you malvertisements. In the case of a threat, you are immediately notified so you can act before any real damage occurs. In terms of ad quality, we verify that your ads have no latency, autoplay sound, or offensive content, etc. We verify that all ads are clean, safe, and engaging.

For direct campaigns, our solution automates the QA process from testing through launch. GeoEdge provides swift, customized, and automated testing, in addition to transparency. You can see the progress of every creative campaign and if there is an issue, resolve it right away.

Whether programmatic or direct, GeoEdge is adept and experienced in ad malware scanning and ad technologies, full stop. We scan ads and parse all current and emerging technologies in the industry, including Rich Media, VAST, VPAID, MRAID, and Native. You don’t have to worry, we have it covered.

– first appeared in the AOP Conference Inside Out publication, November 2016