Our Chief Marketing Officer William Scheckel was recently interviewed by Equities titled “Digital Ad Fraud is a $20 billion Issue. Here’s How to Stop It”. The interview drives home the importance of protecting digital assets such as digital ads from bots. The bad actors want your dollars. Value creation is seen directly in ROI on how effective digital assets are protected.
My favorite scene from the movie “Trading Places” with Eddie Murphy as Billy Ray Valentine and Dan Aykroyd as Lewis Winthorpe III is the ending in the Comex Commodities Exchange Center (CCEC) Orange Juice pits. The scene:
Valentine: Oh you see, I made Lewis a bet here. Lewis made me a bet that we both couldn’t get rich and put you both in the poor house at the same time. He didn’t think we could do it. I won.
Lewis: I lost… One Dollar!
Valentine: Thank you Lewis.
Lewis: After you.
Valentine: Certainly. (Lewis laughing.)
Exchange Floor Official: Margin call, gentlemen.
Mortimer Duke: Why you can’t expect…
President of Exchange: You know the rules. All accounts to be settled at the end of the day’s trading, without exception.
This last statement from the President of the Exchange to both Dukes is why futures work. Most importantly real orange juice (OJ) will be delivered. I mentioned “real” because in adtech, we see different types of fraud delivered.
The futures contracts represent real orange juice. The buyers aren’t expecting fake orange juice. When delivery occurs, real orange juice is really delivered. In adtech its much more different. The term fake adtech is real. End of month ad stuffing is seen with publishers “marking the close” a term from Wall St which is a form of market manipulation. This marking the close is done by ad bots which are artificially generating revenue for the publishers on the advertisers dime.
Other types of fraud exist in adtech which is why a futures market in adtech is very difficult to make. The problem is a buyer of a contract really expects real orange juice. In adtech a buyer doesn’t know what they are buying.
Futures is a way for a farmer to hedge their crops for unforeseen events in weather. They’d rather get paid now and push the future risk off to somebody else. Other buyers or speculators provide liquidity for this sale.
In adtech, we are in a new dawn of super fast changing news. Publishers want to get paid but also have risk from the latest news scandal and an advertiser dropping them as a result of the scandal. This is risk publishers would gladly like to eliminate. If both parties trust what will be delivered, a new market will be created in adtech.
Transparency meaning real ads viewed or clicked by a human is the last step needed for futures on digital ads.
Math as a kid was about counting on your fingers. I forgot which grade it was but it lasted for a few years till multiplication arrived. The good ole days. Keep those memories fresh.
Recently we are seeing math problems that can be solved on our fingers in adtech. The Wall St Journal (WSJ) just figured out that by abandoning Google, they instantly increased their conversion analytics. What a miracle! Eliminate bots and your conversions increase.
This is the type of value creation that advertising and marketing departments get giant bonuses for. Simply by blocking Googles search, the WSJ was able to increase the rate of visitors converting into paying clients. Although the WSJ dropped 44 percent of it’s fake traffic from Google, the conversions increased. This truly shows how many bots Google has. This is basic level math.
Lets see how this works again. By shutting off Google traffic, you increase conversions because instead of trying to convert a robot to a paying human, you eliminate the bot and only serve to real humans. Interesting concept…
I hope everyone enjoyed the long 4th of July weekend!! While you were watching fireworks, bot fraud was also exploding. Check out the Chinese ad agency Yingmob and their new mobile botnet “HummingBad” similar to “BreakingBad” raking in $300k in revenue per month by clicking ads. I wonder what Heisenberg would think of this? As mentioned last month, in “Who’s Your Daddy”, you better know your fraud bots and who they are coming from.
Also, I wanted to invite you to a new Ad group I organize. If you want to meet other Ad Professionals and throw back some cocktails like Mad Men/Women please join LA Ad Pros here.