Good, Fast & Cheap: The New Norm, Thanks to Ad-Fraud Protection Technologies


ADOTAS – When I first started my career in advertising, there was an expression we used all the time: “You can have it good, fast and cheap. Pick any two out of the three.”

The essence of this little saying was that high-quality work, or work done fast, will cost you more. In today’s digital age, that’s not the case anymore.

Let’s say you wanted to promote your brand using sight, sound and motion. Back in the day, that meant advertising on television.

TV advertising was by no means cheap or fast if you wanted it to be good. You had to hire an agency to create your spot. The agency had to hire a production company to produce your spot at what used to be an average cost of $340,000 for a 30-second execution. The shoot itself involved renting expensive film cameras, tons of equipment plus what seemed like an army for your production crew. You shot at a studio or at a far-away location. Once you were done with the filming, you’d spend even more on post-production to make sure that the color, sound and editorial were just right. Then, you had to hire a separate agency to plan and place your media plus a separate service to monitor that your spots actually ran. Of course, if your commercial ran longer than a 13-week cycle, you had to pay residuals to what seemed like everyone, including the guy that wrote the music you used behind your commercial.

In today’s digital world, things are quite different. Instead of television, you might elect to use online video to meet your sight, sound and motion objectives. You can get good quality with an inexpensive digital video camera, edit with desktop software, plus use crowd-sourced talent and stock music. You can do this really fast at a price that’s really cheap. Then you can place your media directly or use an agency or DSP that has programmatic buying to match up your audience objectives with real-time bidding at rock bottom prices.

Whoa. That’s good, fast and cheap.

Unfortunately, in the online ad world, there’s a big problem plaguing the whole digital ad ecosystem. It’s bad. It’s grown really fast. And it’s extremely expensive for all involved. The problem is online ad fraud.

The IAB, the voice of the digital advertising community, has estimated that 36% of all online ad impression views are fraudulent. Impressions that are seen by bots or clicks that have been manipulated by fraud will never sell anything or will never influence a consumer to like your product more. At the recent IAB Annual Conference, the organization reaffirmed its mission to rid the online marketplace of ad fraud. For more than a year, the IAB’s Traffic of Good Intent Taskforce has been working to get its arms around the problem.

To attack this problem, there are firms like ours providing high quality anti-ad fraud protection using a variety of sophisticated techniques:

  • Using a massive global fraud intelligence database.
  • Employing proxy unmasking.
  • Testing for device or header manipulation.
  • Using smart device verification.

We’re staying steps ahead of some very smart fraudsters, and that’s good.

Some anti-ad fraud firms can deliver risk scores in 10 milliseconds or less. This means they work in the programmatic environment where much of digital media buying and selling seems to be headed. 10 milliseconds is the time it takes for a hummingbird to flap its wings twice. That’s fast.

These days you can get anti-ad fraud protection cheap (or inexpensive as we marketers like to say). Would you spend a few cents CPM to insure that your $2.00 CPM campaign, Ms. Marketer (or your $8.00 CPM inventory, Mr. Publisher) runs fraud-free? That’s cheap.

So there you have it. Good, fast, cheap, plus fraud-free, all in one place. Four out of four ain’t bad.


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