It’s been a year since SmartyAds entered a business relationship with Pixalate and connected their ad fraud detection scanners to provide ongoing protection for advertising budgets and increase the overall quality of impressions. The continuous fight against ad fraud doesn’t cease - we keep implementing new inventory authorization standards and ad fraud detection tools, each of which brings in an additional layer of security for our systems. Back in 2020, we decided to collaborate with Pixalate because they featured just the right tools for preventing and eradicating the most harmful threats from advertising ecosystems, including invalid traffic detection and filtration across all supported environments (desktop, mobile web, in-app, and Connected TV). Now that we’ve been in this together for a year, it’s time to review how this relationship works for us.

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The threat of ad fraud: how big is it for the advertising industry?

Being one of the most renowned companies in the ad fraud fighting arena, Pixalate regularly publishes reports and interesting findings regarding ad fraud, particularly in programmatic.

It was in this way that Pixalate revealed that fraudulent traffic, especially in the mobile in-app and CTV environments, can reach as high as 26%, making mobile and CTV advertising a potentially hazardous experience for advertisers. Within mobile apps, Pixalate reports also mention that 33% of programmatic ad transactions are happening on apps that do not appear to be brand-safe. Pixalate made an audit of 3.2 million apps and found that over 500,000 of those use programmatic advertising as a primary source of monetization. As a part of the study, Pixalate took into account apps from different regions and opined that the most dramatic risks are associated with brand safety, ad fraud (IVT), consumer privacy, and compliance. Over 32% of ads appear next to objectionable content and 5% of impressions go to delisted apps. In general, the level of IVT across all forms of programmatic advertising is approximately 19%.

What’s the takeaway of this? When global programmatic advertising spend only keeps growing, such reports can be worrying since all these threats result in wasted advertising money and spoiled brand reputation. This means that, like never before, businesses need to focus attention on partnering with global traffic safety providers in order to overcome these challenges. At SmartyAds, we’ve integrated both post- and pre-bid scanners from Pixalate for desktop, mobile web, CTV, and mobile in-app traffic protection. The pre-bid scanner enables the system to block fraudulent impressions before they even take place. The post-bid scanning via Pixel gives us an opportunity to analyze purchased traffic and then make strategic decisions for future partnerships.

What we’ve achieved in a year with Pixalate

In order to protect campaign performance, we’ve developed our own multi-step security approach that includes measures directed toward ensuring great traffic quality. We apply stringent standards of inventory and seller authorization established by IAB across the industry, like adx.txt and app-ads.txt for in-app environments. Pixalate scanning, as the most important traffic quality protection measure, in particular, has helped us to alleviate many advertising threats and take necessary actions to prevent ad fraud from happening in our ecosystem. In conjunction with existing traffic protection mechanisms established on our platforms, Pixalate scanning capabilities worked as an additional shield against ad fraud across such traffic types as banner, native, video, and CTV.

At SmartyAds, we believe that this business relationship with Pixalate has been truly rewarding not only in terms of keeping the ecosystem safe, but also in terms of elevating ad serving standards as a whole. Pixalate, one of only a few MRC-accredited vendors, is here to share with us their expertise, anti-ad fraud mechanisms, and protection technologies. The combination of methods and techniques they apply helps us to ensure that millions of impressions that our platforms serve daily are protected and of the highest quality.

To wrap it up

Invalid traffic poses a serious threat to the advertising industry. Fraudulent schemes keep evolving every day, and there’s no better way to stop them than to develop robust in-house anti-ad fraud procedures along with striking strong ad fraud detection and filtration partnerships. Direct integration with such an ad fraud detection and filtration vendor like Pixalate has helped us to prevent numerous ad fraud threats during last year, and we are grateful for the opportunity to continuously safeguard our advertising ecosystem within the framework of this collaboration. Brand safety and reputation are of paramount importance for our clients, and that’s why we will always do the utmost we can to keep media trading on our platforms predictable, transparent, and safe.

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