The Last Word: 4 Experts on Google’s New Ad Tests for Fraud


Google has been undergoing tests with media companies to weed out fraudulent digital ads that are being improperly bought and sold as premiums. This all boils down to the importance of transparency in the ad industry.

Jason Beckerman, CEO Unified; Henrik Busch, Managing Director and Co-founder Blackwood Seven; John Donahue, Chief Product & Marketing Officer, Sonobi; and Alison Lohse, Chief Strategy Officer, Conversion Logic offer their insights on the developments.

Jason Beckerman, CEO, Unified
Today more than half of marketers do not have any transparency into or control of their social advertising data sets. This makes brands incredibly beholden to their agency partners, limiting data portability, and putting their overall business ROAS at grave risk. We believe the next 18 months will be transformational in this area—brands will really wake up to this need.

Henrik Busch, Managing Director and Co-founder, Blackwood Seven

Issues of transparency have continuously plagued the advertising industry over the last year. While many lofty statements have been made by brands and agencies alike, marketers still need to reclaim power and embrace technology that can give them what they want – transparency, efficiency, effect and speed – rather than settling for the opaque and antiquated services that they receive today.
Ultimately, the industry has hit a roadblock— with no real disruptions made in the last 10 to 15 years. If there is to be any positive changes among transparency and fraud issues, it is vital that advertisers take ownership of their ad technology, and together with publishers, continue to push for better industry standards.

John Donahue, Chief Product & Marketing Officer, Sonobi

A transparent and direct marketplace is the only marketplace that can scale and survive in the long term. Some of our partners are pushing hard on this front along with us to ensure that a direct, fair, and transparent market is the only market that continues to be invested in. We are working with them to allow direct remittance to ensure margin erosion and hidden fees that are called out in the report are eradicated.

Alison Lohse, Chief Strategy Officer, Conversion Logic

Agencies and marketers can and should shield themselves from issues of transparency with candid conversations during contract negotiations and early on in agency relationship; this hopefully will build on genuine trust that increases over time. This is true for all marketers, regardless of vertical, who seek media, technology or market experts to execute on their behalf.



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