Advertising Technology

During viewability growing pains, let’s agree to agree

The Wall Street Journal this week posted a pretty exhaustive roundup of the pain we're all going through as the battle for ad viewability wears on.

In its CMO Today blog, the WSJ does an excellent job outlining the background of viewability, what's broken about it and what needs to be done to fix it.

What's also interesting about this writeup is the hinting at the kinds of conversations those on both sides of the table are having during this period of growing pains. It can be pretty much summed up by this quote:

It's a “total cluster.” … That was among the softer comments.

Do publishers want to be able to track and guarantee ad viewability to 100 percent? Absolutely. Do advertisers want 100 percent viewable ads? Obviously.

I'd also like to fly from California to New York in three hours, and I'll maybe be able to one day. But not today.

Advertisers stamping their feet and demanding 100 percent viewability now isn't helping. Likewise, publishers throwing up their arms and saying “we can't” isn't helping either.

What this issue boils down to is that there needs to be an agreement between seller and buyer to transact business based on the current technological capabilities of the system while still pushing the tech forward.

The technology that will one day enable 100 percent viewability is in development, but it isn't ready yet. Until then, each side has to agree on ways to do business now and ways that the business should be done in the future — agree on a path.

It should be comforting to know that technologies that are put to use are more often than not improved. So, use the accredited viewable display vendors and establish ways to resolve inconsistencies in reporting. Use them, and they will push forward to improve their accuracy and efficacy.

READ MORE: The Push For Web Ad Viewability Proving To Be Nightmare For Publishers Early On

By |January 27th, 2015|Advertising Technology|0 Comments

Cleaning up some placements and maxing out others

Keeping it simple, it would seem that weeding out fraud is as easy as working with those you trust. Speaking of fraud, it's apparently staring publishers right in the face when it comes to fishy-looking desktop traffic. When it comes to maximizing end-of-article placements, publishers have options. Maybe it's time to put the mobile app vs. mobile web debate to bed, and taking a difference-angle look at cookies.

  • Fixing online advertising: How to beat bots, scammers … and the invisibility problem (VentureBeat) – In a guest column in Venture Beat, Martini Media CEO Erik Pavelka tackled the issues of ad fraud and viewability. For viewability, we might be a way off. In terms of fraud, the points outlined by Pavelka, while somewhat oversimplified, are on target in that in order for buyers to reach a quality audience, they must work with trusted sellers.
  • In defense of the cookie (AdExchanger) – Lou Montulli, co-founder and chief scientist at, offers an interesting look back at the history of the cookie, and explains why he still thinks the cookie was the way to go in the early days of online banner ads.

By |January 24th, 2015|Advertising Technology|0 Comments

Fixing fraud has a lot to do with trust

In a recent guest column in Venture Beat, Martini Media CEO Erik Pavelka tackled the issues of ad fraud and viewability. It's honestly a bit much to try and tackle in one column.

While the viewability fix may be a ways off (the IAB currently recommends shooting for 70 percent), there is already a lot being done to fight fraud, and many of the ideas out there have a shot at being a reality.

In terms of fraud, the points outlined by Pavelka, while somewhat oversimplified, are on target in that in order for buyers to reach a quality audience, they must work with trusted sellers. That part is quite simple.

What's not so simple, however, is the work that needs to be done on the sell-side to provide that high-quality and fraud-free inventory. From monitoring traffic to weeding out fraudulent and under-performing traffic sources (if you play that game) are complex asks for any publisher. This underlines the paramount importance of working with partners you can trust. Publishers often can't do this by themselves. Likewise, the sell side has to realize that all the effort that goes into providing inventory of this quality is going to come at a premium price (the true definition of a premium publisher).

Bottom line: If you go cheap, you get fraud.

Read More: Fixing online advertising: How to beat bots, scammers … and the invisibility problem (VentureBeat)

By |January 22nd, 2015|Advertising Technology|0 Comments

Poll results, glossary terms and what’s up with the mobile web

Social media and advertising had a meet-up at CES as Twitter announced plans to run ads on third-party apps. Poll results show just how important a brand safe environment are for the buy side. The mobile web is no where near “dying off,” says the IAB. There's a lot of needed education surrounding programmatic video. And do publishers need to also be tech companies?

  • Do Publishers Have To Be Technology Companies? (AdExchanger) – Media executives give their take on the ever blurring line between publisher and technology company. It's our take that a publisher doesn't necessarily have to be a tech company, but they certainly need to respect the need for top-tier technology in the publishing game. If you don't do your own tech, have good partners who do.
  • Fraud, Brand Safety Take Center Stage Among Ad Buyers (eMarketer) – Poll results recently released in this eMarketer article didn't tell us much we didn't already know — fraud, brand safety and viewable impressions are important to ad buyers and sellers. What's interesting is, speaking in terms of programmatic buying/selling, where those issues stand in terms of importance.
  • Twitter Plans To Increase Revenue With Ads On Publisher's Apps (TechCrunch) – As Twitter seeks to increase its revenue, the social company is looking outside its network for that revenue. Next up for Twitter is reportedly the selling of advertising in third-party applications. Rumors around CES were that ESPN might be on board.
  • The Mobile Web Isn't Dead, IAB Says (Wall Street Journal) – There's been a lot of talk about the mobile web being put out to pasture, especially as statistics such as that users spend 85 percent of their online mobile time using apps. But the IAB says it's not so clear cut as that. Much of the time users spend in apps, the IAB says, is within build-in browsers actually consuming mobile web content.

By |January 17th, 2015|Advertising Technology|0 Comments

Conversations behind defining ‘premium’ and ‘viewability’

Headlines starting off the year in ad-tech news have sought to finally hammer out definitions for terms that went mainstream last year. The viewability debate rages on, and industry execs are offering their own meanings to just what is a premium publisher. Also, there are more of those publishers going programmatic with their premium inventory. Lastly, Twitter is making at-tech waves by paving the way for autoplay video ads on its service.

  • Op-ed: ‘Dark viewability' and why the IAB has it right (Digiday) – Jeff Burkett, of The Washington Post, provided his point of view this week on the viewability debate between the two sides of the coin that have been claimed by the IAB and the 4 A's. Burkett, writing obviously from the publishers' perspective, and brings up the potential lost revenue for publishers when campaigns demand 100 viewability but the technology to even measure each and every impression doesn't exist.
  • Google to Roll Out Viewability Reporting (ClickZ) – Speaking of viewability, Google is making the push to provide more information for brand advertisers running campaigns through its system. The reports, specifically relating to video, will offer insights about which are seen, unseen, ignored or skipped through.
  • What does ‘premium publisher' mean, anyway? (Digiday) – As soon as the phrase “premium publisher” came about, publishers obviously wanted to play that tag. One of the benefits of being seen as premium is what could be charged for advertising. Despite the moniker's age, there's still a bit of debate about what exactly might make a publisher a premium one. Check out our comment at the end of the article, as we felt like weighing in too.
  • More Top Media Publications Trust Programmatic For Premium Ad Inventory (AdWeek) – So, “premium” certainly gets around. There's also premium inventory — the stuff that big time pubs have long reserved for their direct sales teams to deal with. Programmatic buying started out as an excellent way to monetize that remnant inventory (that which remained after the sales team finished their business). However, the results from programmatic selling have seen such great results that more top-level publishers are using it for the top-level inventory.
  • Twitter's Video Plans Include Autoplay Ad Previews (AdAge) – Advertisers prefer autoplay video because it grabs the user's attention. Users don't like autoplay video, because it grabs their attention. Many website publishers prefer to keep their users happy, and will only work with advertising partners who offer the ability to remove autoplay from video ads. Social media sites, however, have taken a different road. First, Facebook introduced autoplay video ads. Now it looks like Twitter is just a few steps away.

By |January 10th, 2015|Advertising Technology|0 Comments