“Are my ads running on riskysiteX.com?” This is a question that every advertiser frantically asks when a site containing highly undesirable content quickly gains notoriety. And unfortunately, the answers are often complex and convoluted.
Some questions you should be asking: Who is your third-party verification vendor? Do they scan at the domain level or down to the page level? Are they scanning every impression or just a sampling? Are they able to read the referring source of all impression calls, or are there limitations in the technology? Could something be slipping through the cracks?
Another possibility is if your verification vendor has identified your ads are in fact running on the site, but they can’t isolate which of your partners the ad call is coming from. Or, they do identify which partner is serving ads on the site, but when you check in with the partner, they can’t seem to find the source themselves.
Whew, what a headache. Are my ads running there or not? And perhaps more importantly, can you ELI5 – Explain Like I’m 5 – how do I keep my ads off of this kind of content in the future?
The ELI5 answer: Understand how your partners source their inventory. Do they work directly with the publishers themselves, or are they sourcing through dozens of other third parties and exchanges (who in turn may be sourcing from other third parties themselves)?
As advertisers, you want to avoid a nasty game of “telephone”. You know, the game from grade school where a simple starting phrase like “A puppy ate a shoe tongue,” after being passed to several others down the line, can get twisted into “A guppy in a shark tank.” Did one person along the chain change the answer? Or were there multiple parties complicit in this end result? The longer the chain, the higher the chance of something going wrong along the way.
Back to advertising, let’s say your Agency is working with a Trading Desk, who is using multiple DSPs, each plugged into several exchanges, where there are hundreds of third parties and exchanges that have put the impression up for sale, that they themselves sourced from an SSP – there are many hops along the way where unfavorable content could slip in. Tracking down the source of the issue can be quite the challenge. And you don’t want to be a guppy stuck in a shark tank.
Going straight to the source is the surest path to remove any heightened anxiety around ad placements. As an advertiser, you need to take on the responsibility of removing barriers. Working with trusted partners who source inventory directly from publishers can significantly minimize the risk of undesirable ad placement. Otherwise, you may find yourself victim of a game of telephone gone haywire.
As Exponential’s VP of Global Publisher Development, Rick Abell is responsible for Exponential’s global inventory efforts, from providing yield optimization solutions that generate real results for publishers, to cultivating a differentiated inventory offering that reaches over 750M unique users worldwide. With the industry continuing to adopt programmatic technology and increase automation, Rick and team instead focus on one-to-one customer service with direct publishers, striving to foster true consultative partnerships and deliver monetization solutions that are tailored towards each publisher’s needs.
Before joining Exponential, Rick worked at AOL/Advertising.com in various roles, including Director of Network Advertising Products and Director of Ad Delivery, West Coast.
Rick holds a BS in Engineering Sciences from Loyola University, along with an MBA from Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland. Rick is based out of Exponential’s Baltimore office. As someone always open to new adventures and learning about different cultures, Rick is likely out traveling the world when he is not in the office. He has attended the Olympics in three different countries and is looking forward to Tokyo 2020.
This is the blog of Exponential Interactive Inc.,(www.exponential.com) a global provider of advertising intelligence and digital media solutions to brand advertisers.
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