AdLedger Unites Brands, Agencies, TV And Technology Companies To Fight Ad Fraud On OTT

Consortium Releases White Paper With Extensive Insights From The Hershey Company, Reprise/IPG Mediabrands, Hearst Television, MadHive, and Beachfront Media

AdLedger, the non-profit research and development consortium building and implementing the blockchain and cryptography standards for digital media, today announced a collaborative white paper on fraud in the OTT ecosystem. The report features extensive insights from MadHive, Reprise/IPG Mediabrands, Hearst Television, The Hershey Company and Beachfront Media.

“OTT is booming, offering advertisers the opportunity to apply data-driven planning, targeting and measurement methodologies from the digital ecosystem to television,” said Christiana Cacciapuoti, Executive Director at AdLedger. “But there is a misconception that OTT is universally fraud free, when in fact it is vulnerable to many of the same schemes as digital.”

The report includes findings from an analysis of more than 1 billion OTT ad requests by advanced TV advertising solutions company MadHive, which found that 18% of OTT inventory is fraudulent. The predominant types of fraud mirror the methods currently plaguing the rest of the digital ecosystem:

  1. Misrepresentation: a fraudulent arbitrager is selling ads they claim are being shown to users in the US, but the ad is actually shown to a device in non-US countries.
  2. Device Based: This is when a single device reports a very high number of ads during a given time period, for example 50 ads per minute.
  3. App Based: This is when the same ad-supported OTT app shows a very high rate of activity around the clock.

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“As the industry continues to have ebbs and flows, and the currents of how to get the most ROI change, clients are increasingly eager to incorporate platforms like digital and connected television inventory into their campaigns,” said Tim Ringel, Global CEO, Reprise. “With OTT, they get the best of both worlds: the value of television and efficiency of digital.”

In an effort to combat fraud, AdLedger is executing proof-of-concept projects with members like Omnicom, MadHive and Salon Media, that leverage blockchain and cryptography to establish airtight verification and validation of KPIs. This announcement comes on the heels of WPP’s GroupM, Publicis Media, Omnicom Media Group and IPG Reprise Digital joining forces to form the AdLedger Blockchain Education Working Group. The AdLedger consortium also includes marquee leaders in advanced TV like Inscape, Viacom, Hearst Television, Liberty Global, and iSpotTV.

“OTT is going to play an integral role in the future of the marketing mix, especially as interactive ad formats roll-out on the platform and enable brands to take a DTC approach to media buying,” said Vinny Rinaldi, Head of Addressable Media and Technology for The Hershey Company. “We just need to work together as an industry to proactively fight fraudsters, while providing transparency across the supply chain.”

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AdLedger was founded by MadHive, TEGNA and IBM to establish standards around integrating blockchain and cryptography into the digital advertising ecosystem.

“In digital and social economies, the major platforms and ad tech companies walk away with much of the publisher’s audience value,” said Jonathan Sumber, VP Digital Sales at Hearst Television. “Our hope is that blockchain technology brings some balance back to this relationship, in both advertising and the surfacing of authoritative/trusted content.”

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