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Startup secures $2.5m in seed funding to clean up bad ads

Ad startup secures $2.5m in seed funding to clean up bad ads, a start-up ad firm dedicated to eradicating malicious ads, has secured $2.5m in seed funding from Real Ventures to help it do just that.

Dovetailing with a rebrand from Clean Creative, the cash injection will further measures to develop more effective measures to deal with the malware, after observing that advertiser blacklists and JavaScript scanning were becoming increasingly ineffective.

Founded by digital ad veteran Seth Demsey, who became disillusioned by some of the more questionable practices employed by the industry while working for Microsoft, Google and AOL, his company has pledged to close the door to abuse.

Demsey said: “When you think about what we’re really dealing with, forget media, forget ads — we’re dealing with the beautiful openness of the web. That allows you to compose different elements from different people on the page, but that power of composition also opens the door to abuse.”

The new system gives it the authority on what programs can be executed on JavaScript, such as attempts to automatically redirect your browser to an advertisers site. Crucially this system allows bad ads to be run, it simply blocks malicious JavaScript from running, thus forcing the advertiser to pay for the impression without gaining any redirects.

In March Google confirmed that it had removed 2.3bn malicious ads in 2018, highlighting the full scale of the problem.