Digital ad purchasing needs to adapt to new technologies and markets, he says, using the example of real-time bidding, a method of matching online advertises with users when those users visit a site.
Over the last five years we have created RTB from scratch and dramatically scaled this brand new and highly efficient technology. Meanwhile, for the rest of the digital display buy, we are still emailing RFPs and proposals, signing I/Os with pens and in some cases even still faxing them back. This is not just urban legend. I checked and it’s true. Some signed I/Os are still faxed.
He says this over-reliance on outdated methods is the result of four factors: ”a disproportionate focus by the tech community on lower-funnel solutions; agency incentives; agency organizational structure; and the chicken/egg nature of changes to established processes.”
But revamping traditional buying doesn’t mean using the same solutions as programmatic reserve, which automates online buying and has its own set of problems. (Atherton has mentioned this in a previous column.) The identification this week of the bot network Chameleon underscores that automated ad selling still has hurdles, Zach Rodgers says.
On the one hand, the rise of viewability measurement and the relatively small number of scaled RTB marketplaces has made it easier to identify and police worthless impressions. But it’s also easier for unscrupulous media sellers to make fraudulent inventory look legitimate, and then sell through exchanges — creating something of a new dawn for bad actors.
Rodgers says the sites affected by Chameleon should have been able to suss out the fraudulent activity. He quotes Spider.io founder Douglas de Jager as saying publishers with traffic spikes “should take responsibility for knowing where that traffic originates.” It’s not so easy with such an increase in impression fraud.
[Media6degrees] Chief Operating Officer Andrew Pancer said, “We have seen botnet traffic grow significantly over the past 18 months. It’s a big concern for us, especially as we all see the huge potential in programmatic buying.”