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Pixalate Week in Review: September 18 - 22, 2017

This week's review of ad fraud and quality in the digital advertising space.

1. Google to issue full refunds for ad fraud on DBM

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Advertising Age has reported that Google will issue full refunds to DoubleClick Bid Manager users when ad fraud occurs. "The news comes a few weeks after The Wall Street Journal reported that Google was issuing refunds to advertisers whose ads reached bots instead of humans, but only for its fees of 7 percent to 10 percent, not the whole cost of wasted ad spending," wrote Advertising Age.

The article added: "The new policy only applies to inventory acquired through Google supply partners AppNexus, Index Exchange, OpenX, Teads, Telaria and DoubleClick Ad Exchange, though Google estimates they, along with others, comprise 90% of the available inventory on DoubleClick Bid Manager. It takes effect sometime in the coming months."

2. Uber sues mobile agency over ad fraud

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"Uber Technologies Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Fetch Media Ltd., a mobile ad agency owned by ad giant Dentsu Inc., alleging the agency misrepresented the effectiveness of its mobile ads, failed to prevent ad fraud and didn’t return rebates owed to Uber," reported the Wall Street Journal. "In the suit, Uber alleges that Fetch 'squandered tens of millions of dollars' purchasing nonexistent, nonviewable or fraudulent ads and that it 'concealed those facts from Uber,'" wrote the WSJ

3. IAB launches blockchain working group

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The IAB Tech Lab this week announced the launch of a working group meant to "explor[e] ways to leverage blockchain to improve efficiency and value realization in digital advertising." The IAB added: "The initial areas of scope are fraud, measurement, discrepancy reconciliation for billing purposes, financial transactions, and validation of advertising resources and assets."

4. Programmatic firms increase transparency into ad auction mechanics

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Digiday has reported that ad-buyers are taking well to the recent announcements from OpenX, AppNexus and Rubicon Project regarding increased transparency into auction mechanics. "Digiday spoke to five ad buyers who said this is a good first step toward fixing a basic problem in programmatic buying," wrote Digiday. The problem has been that ad-buyers often don't even know what type of auction they are bidding in, per Digiday.

5. Brands are taking back more control

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Marketing Week details how brands are taking back more control over their digital ad budgets as transparency, trust, and quality remain paramount topics. Citing a World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) study, Marketing Week writes, "65% [of brands] have improved their internal capabilities – such as hiring a head of programmatic – around brand safety over the last 12 months. Some 40% are developing in-house resource[s] to help tackle ad fraud, with 34% saying they started doing this within the last 12 months and just 6% saying they were already doing it 12 months ago."

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