TechBytes with Billie Vuckovich, Director, Digital Marketing and Ad Ops, dexiMEDIA

Billie Vuckovich

Billie Vuckovich
Director, Digital Marketing and Ad Operations, dexiMEDIA

Ad fraud is the dirty secret of digital media that exploded with smarter advertising analytics platforms reporting them in time. With the adtech evolution, ad fraud also continues to change in form. To better understand ad fraud analytics and the other major threats to video, display, and other ad publishing companies, we spoke to Billie Vuckovich, Director, Digital Marketing and Ad Ops, dexiMEDIA.

Tell us about your role at dexiMedia and the team/technology you handle.

I am the VP of Ad Operations at dexiMEDIA, a New York-based digital media agency that helps brands reach new audiences. We own a few pay per click traffic networks, and with our technology, a site owner can purchase traffic directly to their website through a direct link.

Where do you think ad fraud is going in 2018?

We will continue to see ad fraud, but given that better technology is coming out to catch it, we should be seeing a decrease in fraudulent traffic, overall, within the coming year or so.

How did Anura enable you to prevent ad fraud discrepancy and meet the needs of your clients?

There are so many different click fraud companies out there that conflict each other. One will say an impression is fraudulent, while another company will say it’s not, and this pattern of conflicting traffic analysis is a never-ending cycle.

For an SSP to get an accurate reading of what is actually fraudulent traffic, they would have to use all of these fraud solutions to meet their needs. The overhead cost on this would be way too expensive for any network.

We had a client that needed an accurate reading of click fraud without using all of the companies, and, by using Anura, we were able to meet our client’s needs. Anura meets, and beats, the standards of all of the leading click fraud tools, saving us from having to get deals with other media verification companies.

Other than bots in ad fraud, what are the other major threats to video, display, or desktop companies?

Browsers are now coming out with their own different functionalities, like Chrome not allowing autoplay, and that is becoming its own issue with publishers and websites looking to monetize traffic.

Fraud is roughly twice as common in video as it is in display. What regulations are in place to defend brands and customers, respectively, from ad fraud?

I don’t think that is necessarily true. The reason they say that is because a lot of fraudulent traffic initially targeted video because the CPMs were higher, and they got paid three to four times as much as they would for display. Click fraud companies were also not catching as much of the video fraud as display so targeting video was easier.

The problem is that there is no standardization or regulation of what is considered a bot or not. We don’t have internet police out there saying “this is a bot,” “this is fraud,” or “this is not a real user.” Brands and customers are at the mercy of these click fraud companies to determine what is and is not fraud. The biggest question right now is, which media verification or click fraud company is right when it comes to what traffic is fraudulent or not? Some will say they catch more fraud so they are better, but this is not necessarily true. They are not basing their results on the users, they are basing them on the impressions. This is why we chose Anura: because they are user-based and able to tell us if our users and impressions are real or not. This is what advertisers want. We want to know that actual users are looking at our ads.

What is the most sophisticated tactic to overcome fraud? How does technology help measure legitimate traffic?

The key to overcoming fraud is to be user-based, not impression-based.

Finally, what is your strategy for marketing teams to defend against video ad fraud threats?

The first part of the process is more or less based on where you are buying your traffic from and if it is reputable. The second part would be to examine what click fraud protection you are using. Everyone buys traffic, including the biggest publishers and advertisers. Most people who own websites and are looking to monetize their site are looking for the most reputable company to buy traffic from. The most reliable comes down to real users.

Do you have anything else you want to say with your work with Anura and how it is helping you in the industry?

Using one tool to make our customers happy is a lot better than having to use five tools for everyone to be satisfied. The bottom line is that Anura is the most cost-efficient and has given us the highest quality results.

A lot of these larger companies make you pay $30K a month, which is outrageous. This system is almost like a mob, where you have to pay X amount of money to play in the game, and there is no way out of it. By using one company that is $30K a month and another that is $20K a month, you are looking at $50K just in ad fraud costs monthly, or $600K annually. If I am able to pay a fraction of that by using just one tool and still making our customers happy, that is huge!

Thanks for chatting with us, Billie.
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