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Recently, I wrote an article about the scale of ad fraud.

In it, I mentioned a press release I had received from engage:BDR about their new VP of Inventory Quality.

I decided to catch up with their CEO, Ted Dhanik, to discuss the state of the industry.

Tell us what your new appointment will be doing day-to-day.

Our new appointment, the VP, Inventory Quality, will focus 100% of her time towards overseeing our acquisition and filtration of high-value ad inventory.

She will be working with our internal tech team as well as third-party partners to ensure we are comprehensive in our scanning of all impressions, working directly with publishers to develop new, high-quality inventory (like OutStream, which is 100% viewable by design), and working with our peers in the space to stay on the cutting edge of quality controls.

Her role will evolve as we create new avenues to monitor the quality of our ad inventory. 

What metrics should brands be looking at to increase display performance?

Brands should certainly be looking at viewability; a non-viewable impression can't hit any of your KPIs, but it can dilute your metrics, which is a no-win situation.

Past viewability, it depends on your current goals and challenges. CTR is a first place many people look, but bounce rate and average time spent on page can help you determine the relevance of your clicks, which is a huge driver of value. 

Are attribution models accurate enough?

No, attribution is a tricky game made trickier by a very fractured space. The industry cleanup that is happening right now will help some, but we live in a world where people are exposed to brand messaging hundreds, if not thousands, of times a day.

Marketers shouldn't focus on having perfect attribution models, but rather focus on creating channels that are easily measurable and optimizing those channels.

You can't be perfect, but you can drive as much incremental business as possible by methodical testing of what you can measure. 

What needs to change to reduce ad fraud? Contracts, regulation, publisher mentality?

Everyone along the chain needs to become accountable and commit resources to stopping this; it is a shift that will benefit the entire ecosystem.

Publishers need to make sure they aren't acquiring traffic from less than credible sources.

Media companies need to employ the proper scanning solutions to weed out fraudulent impressions, and not treat this as a one time fix; the technology needs to be evolving constantly to stay ahead of bad actors.

Brands, and their agencies, need to be prepared to pay a higher CPM for this higher quality and higher value inventory.

The problem can't be solved by any one party; it is going to take education and dedication of resources by everyone involved to get and stay ahead of this.

Ben Davis

Published 25 March, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is a senior writer at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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