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Auditing firm Adloox becomes first European business to receive MRC accreditation amid ad fraud storm

Auditing firm Adloox becomes first European business to receive MRC accreditation

Advertising auditing firm Adloox has become the first European tech company to be accredited by the Media Ratings Council (MRC) for all advanced categories of ad fraud covered by the measurement watchdog

The accreditation verifies that Adloox can identify the hidden malpractice that is wasting advertisers over 40% of programmatic budgets, according to research that Adloox did with The&Partnership and M/Six last year which looked into the scale and impact of ad fraud on the industry.

The eight-year old company offers brand safety, fraud and viewability analysis for advertisers and publishers by tracking billions of impressions and detecting inefficient traffic pre and post-bid at an individual user level.

Adloox is able to detect and remove both general invalid traffic (GIVT) and sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT). SIVT accredited vendors currently include comScore, Integral Ad Science and White Ops Fraud Sensor.

The company is also a member of the Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG), the UK’s digital ad auditing group.

It comes at a tumultuous time in the industry with ad fraud thought to cost brands $7.2bn in 2016, according to a study by US firm White Ops in the Global ANA report. Recent research from Adloox - looking at verifying user traffic on the website, rather than just the website itself - claimed that this number is closer to $12bn.

What’s more, P&G’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard last month revealed that it will review all of its agency contracts in 2017 in a bid to bring transparency to the “murky at best, fraudulent at worst” media supply chain, calling for brands to end “the days of giving digital a pass".

Following this, The Times newspaper, which uses Adloox, ran an investigation that found a number of household brands have been unwittingly funding extremism and pornography by having their ads placed on controversial YouTube videos.

As a result, carmaker Jaguar Land Rover ceased all digital advertising in the UK and Mercedes Benz asked all of its marketing and media agencies to review, and "if necessary update" its safe media lists to lessen the risk of its ads being misplaced.

Speaking on the matter, Marco Ricci, chief executive of Adloox, said: “I think it’s time brands stopped accepting benchmarks they are given. Why settle for 40% viewability when you can reach 80%? Why accept 10-15% of your ads will end up on non-brand safe websites, when we’ve proven you can get down under 0.2%? The wasted inventory is worth millions a year to a brand, but they seem to be unaware that there are better solutions out there.

“We are not just talking about Botnets, we are seeing sophisticated patterns of traffic extension, ID spoofing and forced auto-refreshing that are not being picked up by regular viewability tools. The problem is by not flagging them, they remain hidden in the bid stream. Up and down the supply chain, NHT traffic is available from SSPs to DSPs to publishers and networks, but as long as agencies optimise based on a monitoring tool’s website score, rather than the quality of traffic popping up on that same website, everyone is missing the problem and the advertiser pays for lack of performance.”

George Ivie, executive director and chief executive of MRC, said: "We congratulate Adloox for meeting the extremely rigorous requirements necessary to achieve their initial accreditation for desktop display SIVT Detection and Filtration.”

"Adloox's MRC accreditation for desktop display SIVT alongside their prior viewable impression accreditation, is recognition of Adloox's leadership in ensuring a high-quality environment for both buy & sell side digital advertising."

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