AutoUpdate: Video’s getting more viewable, but scammers are getting better too

The week in ad tech at a glance

MRC ends video viewability gating period, but nobody’s happy

The Media Ratings Council has lifted its advisory against using viewability as a currency for trading video impressions, signaling to the industry that video viewability measurement is ready for prime time. But across the industry, marketers, agencies and publishers are expressing concerns about video viewability, arguing that measurement infrastructure is still too fragmented, that the MRC’s standard doesn’t go far enough and that selling viewable impressions will be a problem for publishers. But adoption of the viewable impression currency marches on, with Yahoo being the latest to offer a viewability-based audience guarantee on its inventory.
Read more at Media Post

Video fraudsters getting bigger and badder

Meanwhile, things aren’t looking good for video fraud detection either, as more ambitious fraud scams targeting video advertisers come to light. Ad security firm Telemetry has reported an extremely sophisticated video scam targeting ad verification technology directly — sending a signal that a video is 100% viewable and 100% completed, for instance, even when nothing like that occurred. The code was written specifically to attack verification technology used by Adap.tv, Integral Ad Science, Tremor Video, and others — showing the fraudsters had significant knowledge of ad security measures, and have been adapting to overcome them.

The company’s founder says it’s the most significant scam they’ve ever discovered — much larger than the Client Connections Media video scam that Telemetry outed in March, which got Rocket Fuel into a spat with the Financial Times over “sensational headlines.” Telemetry estimates that this latest scam comprised 400 websites and cost 75 major advertisers tens of millions over several months. Coke, Ford and McDonald’s were among those affected.

Meanwhile competitor DoubleVerify says it’s uncovered another video ad scam that laundered millions of video impressions on copyright piracy sites. Though the impressions were sold on exchanges under one of 500 innocuous “front sites,” they were ultimately served on sites focused on pirated content. DoubleVerify says the scam could have been costing advertisers $5MM per month.

Video has become a major target for fraudsters because of its reputation for quality and higher CPMs. Although advertisers see video as a good way to send brand messages to consumers, video on open exchanges can easily be mislabeled — sold as high-quality preroll, and delivered to a silent small-player cycling through 10 ads without any user interaction. Video viewability and verification technology is also rather young compared to display, giving fraudsters a chance to exploit loopholes and fragmentation between measurement providers.
Read more at Advertising Age

LinkedIn experiments with private exchange

Rumour has it that LinkedIn is experimenting with a private exchange similar to Facebook’s FBX, allowing companies like GroupM’s Xaxis and Dstillery to take the wheel on audience targeting. But despite LinkedIn’s trove of interest and attribute data, the efforts are still just an experiment. And LinkedIn may need the advantage, since it may soon be competing with Facebook for professionals’ attention.
Read more at the Wall Street Journal

New Digital Advertising Alliance apps will help manage mobile privacy

The DAA plans to release two new consumer mobile apps: one to manage ad preferences in native apps, and another to manage them on the mobile web. The apps were previewed at the DAA’s annual summit, and will be available free to U.S. consumers in the fall. No word on a Canadian version yet.
Read more at Ad Exchanger

Programmatic homepage takeovers are a thing

The Wall Street Journal reports that major players like Time, Hearst and Business Insider are selling homepage takeovers programmatically — making the high-touch, creative-heavy ad format the last bastion to fall in the race to automate everything. The trend is headed up by Rubicon, which has aligned with Merkle, a CRM data company, to personalize automated takeovers and increase their impact. So the next time you see a takeover on Cosmo.com, know that it could very well have been bought on an exchange.
Read more at the Wall Street Journal

Big Deals

Acquisitions and partnerships shaping the industry

  • TubeMogul plugs into Vungle’s mobile app video exchange
  • Twitter buys retargeting specialist TapCommerce
  • Digital agency IgnitionOne scores $20MM to go on ad tech shopping spree
  • AdKnowledge buys TriVu for audience targeting on YouTube
  • Google gets into music streaming with Songza acquisition
  • White Ops raises $7MM
  • Around the Web

    The best features and opinion this week

  • Agencies brace for change as brands lean in to programmatic (Ad Exchanger)
  • Marketers don’t need to be more creative (Harvard Business Review)
  • Will GroupMā€™s exit from open ad exchanges entice others to follow suit? (ClickZ)
  • Ad data scientists weigh in on Facebook research controversy (Ad Age)
  • Will programmatic advertising take over TV? (Adweek)
  • Advantage Articles

    Why we said no to Do Not Track (Column)

    Users should be given more control, but current proposal has too many flaws

    Yahoo expands mobile toolkit with acquisition of Flurry

    Startup is the latest in a wave of smaller acquisitions

    Self-serve vs. Managed: Should a tech partner run your campaign?

    As brands and agencies demand more transparency of their tech partners and look to cut costs, the software-as-a-service model is starting to make a lot of sense

    Reaching a digital audience in a multi-device world

    SPONSORED POST: Shannan LaMorre, VP Olive Elite+, shares insights

    Apple turns to IBM for help in selling to corporate customers

    Apple wants a better understanding of biz customers while IBM expects access to broader marketplace

    Follow the Data

    SPONSORED CONTENT: Exchange Lab's Roberta Houle shares insights on campaign tactics

    30 brands volunteer for ANA sting operation

    Association of National Advertisers teams up with ad security specialists White Ops to produce benchmark report on cyber crooks and fraudsters

    Time to talk about rebates in programmatic

    Programmatic trading has made auditing rebates a complicated affair