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Pixalate Week in Review: September 4 - 8, 2017

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

1. Tips to avoid ad fraud in programmatic

tips.pngSoo Jin Oh, Gamut’s Vice President of Client Strategy & Solutions, wrote a guest post on Marketing Land titled, "Avoid programmatic fraud with these strategic tips." Tips include relying on meaningful metrics, utilizing third-party tools (preferably those accredited by the MRC), maintaining a universal blacklist, and more. The article features data from Pixalate.

2. Ads.txt adoption is still slow

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According to Digiday, citing a study from MarTech Today, "of the 500 most-trafficked sites in the U.S., only 34 use ads.txt." The article notes: "Few publishers have adopted ads.txt because their tech teams are overcommitted to other projects, and they don’t understand how ads.txt will benefit them. Plus, some publishers want to avoid notifying ad buyers that they rely on unauthorized resellers to drive demand for their inventory."

3. Sprint creating in-house agency; concerned about ad fraud

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Business Insider has reported that Sprint is forming their own in-house agency, "to move faster, save money, [and] better leverage data." The article also notes, "Prevailing issues of ad fraud in the digital advertising industry, where clicks on digital ads and traffic is generated fraudulently by bots and not humans, also played a part." 

4. 'Shadow' auctions arise: Non-transparenct, first-price auctions are cropping up

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MediaPost has reported on a study, conducted by OpenX, which uncovered the secret practice of "first-price" auctions cropping up in programmatic. The article notes, "...a handful of rogue players are effectively changing the rules of the game without any transparency, and media buyers who believe they are competing in a second-price auction market are effectively participating in a first-price market without their knowledge."

5. Digital advertising's 'moment of truth' — led by P&G

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An Adweek article dives into how Marc Pritchard's comments about trust, transparency, and quality in digital media are reverberating around the industry. Adweek wrote that Facebook "will unveil several new tools and policies for advertisers that address brand safety—a clear sign that the biggest digital players in the world are paying close attention to Pritchard’s message." Pritchard's main complaints revolve around "shady agency transparency tactics like media rebates, a lack of standard digital measurement metrics, brand safety and fraud," wrote Adweek.

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