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How a Premium PMP can combat ad fraud in SEA

There are a host of challenges in the world of digital advertising today, but they are mainly ad fraud, viewability and brand safety. Not only do they jeopardise the quality and price of inventories, but worst of all, they completely destroy the credibility of the entire digital ad industry.

We’re all currently in a war against these three issues. If you’re an advertiser, you are probably paying for ad fraud bots unknowingly, having your ads being misplaced, and unsure about your campaign’s viewability; you will clearly be wasting your budget – might as well throw your dollars into the ocean. As much as it pains to say, the Southeast Asia market still lacks a trustworthy and scalable inventory pool that offers quality data. Brand safety in SEA is currently not looking too good, and four out of six countries are lower than the global average of 58.2 percent in the area of video ad viewability, according to the viewability chart from the Media Quality Benchmark H2 2016 of Integral Ad Science (IAS). The data was collected from six countries: Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Philippines based on the analysis of 20 billion ad impressions across 75 advertisers in SEA.

Most of the open ad networks tend to forget the importance of tackling these issues or they’re just not doing enough. However, what’s worse is that walled gardens are limiting the amount of data and analytics for advertisers to access and track the performance of their campaigns, while at the same time, forcing publishers to be dependent on the closed platform to provide insight and analytics.

Ad industry calls for a change
We don’t have the luxury of time anymore. The fact that fraudsters keep coming up with more elaborate and better attempts to trick our system with bots, and at the same time, worrying about your ads’ placement; there’s more that needs to be done now to safeguard the reputation of the industry as a whole. First thing’s first, the whole digital industry should also be calling for standardization in ad measurements rather than just the advertisers. Instead of just following the guidelines that was given by industry bodies like Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Media Rating Council (MRC) and Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) (which not everyone is following), we’ll need to make extra effort on protecting the guidelines and heighten the transparency in the system.

Honestly, who wouldn’t like to control where their ads appear or to be able to measure the report they’ve spent across every media, right? Having full transparency in business relationships and transactions of media dollars is key to change our current situation in the digital ad industry.

We all need a solution
…and it might just come in a form of a premium publisher private marketplace that offers high visibility, brand-safe and fraud-free environments such as Kiwi Premium Advertising Exchange (KPEX) and Apex Advertising from New Zealand and Australia. It is basically combining premium publisher inventory into a unified marketplace to have better quality, better
scale and definitely, better prices.

The recently launched Online Premium Publisher Association (OPPA) in Thailand, powered by Innity and D.A. Consortium Inc (DAC), provides data management platform (DMP), creative services, ad-serving & ad ops, self-serve console and header bidding container tag.

The big question is, how can OPPA actually solve the problem – and not just paying lip service? OPPA functions like a law enforcement in the world of digital advertising by curating based on the guidelines by IAB, MRC, and TAG, and regulating them. OPPA is a PMP consortium of the top digital publishers in Thailand with an estimated reach of at least 70 per cent of Thailand’s internet population – while providing advertisers with verified first party audience data, and premium, brand-safe and local inventories.

Generally, premium publishers have higher branding effectiveness that comes with higher ad viewability, higher engagement and less invalid traffic compared to a non-premium publisher. According to the key findings from comScore’s “The Halo Effect” research on Digital Content Next (DCN), display and video ads on DCN premium publisher sites had an average of 67 per cent higher brand lift than non-DCN publishers, confirming that premium sites deliver premium performance.

All in all, premium private marketplaces takes the guessing game out of digital advertising, hence, there’s no need to invest in a better detection for bots and ad misplacements. It enables you, as an advertiser to save more media dollars by just utilizing one platform to get your campaigns done and to grow your business.

Furthermore, the formation behind the alliance is to benefit from shared learning, experiences and expertise that the group of publishers can bring to the table. Premium publishers get better unit prices of the inventories, advertisers’ campaign effectiveness improves, and the quality of services and campaign delivery for agencies’ improves as well.

Honestly, it is about time the industry comes together to do something to combat all of the issues above. If one of us starts making an effort to combat, the whole of South East Asia will be able to follow eventually. So, let’s start.

Fabian Looa

Fabian Looa is the COO at Innity. He has over 15 years of experience in digital advertising and online marketing. He began his stint with the company as the Sales Director and has helped the company to grow multifold over the years while contributing extensively to the industry from the time of its inception. In his capacity as COO with Innity, Fabian has been responsible for inspiring entrepreneurship and leading the development and execution of the region’s strategic plans to exceed business objectives.
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