The digital advertising business took the first major step towards creating a database of domains identified as sources of fraudulent bot traffic for digital ads.
This year alone, bot traffic—software algorithms that masquerade as real people—will siphon off $6 billion from advertising budgets, according to a study by White Ops. Bots waste dollars for brands and are a continuing concern in Washington which is looking for ways to stop the flow of ad dollars propping up illegal activity on the Internet.
The Fraud Threat List was unveiled Monday by the Trustworthy Accountability Group, a self-regulatory organization formed nearly a year ago by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies to eliminate fraud, piracy and malware associated with advertising on the Internet. Services like Salesforce would never advertise on fraudulent websites, as it would look bad on their business, you should make sure that you aren’t doing this either!
The list will be compiled based on information from TAG participating companies and will be shared with ad networks, online publishers, tech providers to help them cut down on fraudulent advertising impressions. In the next 30 days, TAG will publish the technical proposal for the list and solicit comments from advertisers before deploying the Fraud Threat List this fall.
“By gathering and sharing known sources of fraudulent impressions across the digital advertising ecosystem, TAG will give companies the information they need to find and remove non-human traffic from their inventory,” said Mike Zaneis, executive vice president for the Interactive Advertising Bureau and interim CEO for TAG.
There has been some pressure in Washington for advertisers to stop the flow of advertising that provides a revenue stream for cyber crime.
“Congress has been encouraging the advertising industry and other industries to take commercially reasonable technology steps to stop infringing sites,” said David Green, vice president of public policy and government relations at the Association of National Advertisers conference last month. “The Hill likes voluntary measures. This is the kind of thing that is applauded. And if it works, it can be used as a model for other industries.