After reading my first three articles, you should have picked up on these points:

1) The Millennial generation is important, but shouldn’t make you change the way you handle all of your marketing.

2) Digital advertising “noise” seems to mostly benefit those who created it.

3) You shouldn’t doubt or change your view on how good business works, just because a new industry tells you that you should.

So, what do all these things mean for those, like me, who work in the advertising agency side of the business? Let’s take a look…

That fact is most ad agencies are about as popular as insurance agents. Businesses don’t want us, but they typically need us. And no one can blame them? Even John Wannamaker said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half!” So, with odds like that how excited should our clients be? In my opinion, they should be very excited! If a MLB player had a .500 batting average, he wouldn’t be just playing for the Yankees, he would be part owner of the team! However, there is still a lot of skepticism and the reasons for the skepticism are justifiable.

The digital advertising media outlets will tell you that they can track everything and give you reports to prove what works. However, no matter how many reports you receive, there is still skepticism about whether this method of advertising really is doing what it says.

When Google rakes in billions in a single year of ads never seen by the human eye or Facebook invoices for ads seen for a nano second but claims everything is fine on their end, who wouldn’t be suspicious? When a “digital company” only delivers a 28% viewability rate, but then has the nerve to tell you they weren’t optimizing for viewability, but rather for click thru success, one must ask how can anyone click on an ad intentionally if they don’t see it?

So, what exactly are the ad agency’s responsibilities? We can’t just blindly spend our client’s media budgets on this internally monitored digital advertising industry and prosper from it. If you buy digital advertising based only on the standards mandated by the MMA or the IAB and use them as the trusted watch dogs for this “Wild West” industry, be very careful! While these organizations may mean well and are working harder to develop higher digital standards, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that there is a lot more work to be done and as an agency, it’s our responsibility to our client to see that it gets done.

Remember, media outlets, whether traditional or digital, are businesses, plain and simple. Many of them proclaim to have certain values, but in the end, they were built to make money! Media outlets like to preach equality, but if that is the case, why does nearly everything tilt in their favor? Whether it’s a non-comparable make good, a slew of added value that never airs, or the price-hike needed to make digital ads viewable, every one of these leans to the media outlets’ favor and does not benefit the advertiser. In the end, they’re the “house,” so the deck is stacked in their favor. I have found that being diligent is the only way to turn the results in the favor of our clients.

As a client, you should trust your agency. Just like your dentist, doctor, accountant or lawyer, your agency is the expert. That’s the reason you hire them. It is your agency’s job, or better yet obligation, to have your best interest in mind when handling your advertising budgets. They ultimately, become the toll-takers between your budgets and the media outlets.

I realize, as an agency owner, that our bottom lines are also important, but we aren’t just the middle man between a company and a media outlet. It’s our responsibility to earn that money, not just process invoices blindly. Agencies need to be the police force in the ever-changing digital advertising universe, navigating through the land mines in the digital world, while working to improve the bottom lines of their clients.

Since our clients are the ones who write the checks to pay for all this advertising, and are ultimately our boss, we should spend their money very carefully. Doing what’s easy, following the industry, and chasing after one generation simply isn’t acceptable. Agencies should be diligent, ask questions of the advertising industry, make smarter decisions, and guide our clients based on our knowledge and credibility.

So here is the main take away: All advertising is key to your success, especially digital advertising, if you intend to reach millennials. But digital is not the only way to reach them, or anyone for that matter, and shouldn’t be considered the savior of your business’s future. Traditional media is always relevant and necessary as well. It’s finding the proper mix that will win the day. Remember, while millennials are one of the largest generations in our history and presently represent 25% of all buying power, you’ll want to remind yourself that many of their habits and interest will change with age, much like the Hippies of the ‘60s.

Until next time…. I’ll see you around the water cooler app!

Do you find yourself trying to get a handle on this ever-evolving world of digital advertising? When you finally figure out one method of advertising, you’re told that it’s no longer relevant and you need to learn about and understand the next new thing? We’ll call it “shiny object” syndrome.

You probably went to college and studied some form of business. While there, they taught you the importance of marketing, knowing your consumer, and understanding what fuels a better bottom line. Experience has taught you that quality and quantity are not necessarily equal to your bottom line. You believe in your products; your company’s R&D department works hard to achieve higher goals; and your HR department attempts to better the lives of everyone working in your company one way or another. You have all the makings for a profitable business.

Then you find that a self-made, self-serving, internet industry has risen from the dirt in the past 20 years and changed all the rules. These multi-billion-dollar companies are preaching what you need to do for your business. “Millennials this” and “Millennials that” is their new mantra. They now tell you that ROI is insignificant and you don’t need to tout your products’ virtues. They preach that people want to buy from companies that uplift their self- image. “It’s important to be an environmentally friendly company.” “Be a company that donates to charity.” These are things that will gain you respect from and grow your business with this newer generation. “Don’t worry about ROI,” just get people to “like you.” The money will follow. The digital companies repeatedly say these things to the companies who purchase their services, while they, themselves, continue merging, expanding and increasing their own profits.

Companies like Apple have taught an entire market that owning their products is like being in a special club, and then they make their products obsolete so that consumers have to buy new ones at higher prices. Gaining revenue is exactly why Facebook purchased Instagram, Oculus and WhatsApp and why Google owns You Tube, Blogger and a slew of other sites. They have a focus on their bottom line.

The Internet giants need more avenues to create advertising opportunities, so they can sell them to you. The more they create, the more inventory there is, the more noise they generate, and the more expensive it is for you to rise above that noise. See the cycle? It’s the tail wagging the dog! So where does this put you and your business? You’re punished if you do anything but sit around a campfire and sing Kumbaya and hand out free Smores!

While digital media is a necessary medium, you want to remember that those who hit it big usually spend big. Sure, there are exceptions to every rule, but look at the most successful digital stories and you will find very deep pockets. So invest in digital, but not at all costs.

To build a solid plan, you’ll still need to utilize traditional medium. Despite what the digital giants and ad mags say, these mediums are not dead and people still see and appreciate them. Even millennials. Find that hard to believe? Then ask yourself this. Do you consider electronics, website, software and tech companies, high tech performers? If so, then why aren’t they 100% invested in digital only? Just look at a brief list of TV advertisers: Airbnb, Trivago, Expedia, Apple, Samsung, IBM, Microsoft, Match, AT&T, Verizon, Xfinity, Dish and Direct. Even the all mighty Netflix uses TV to get their message out. Don’t they sell to Millennials? I believe they do. And it’s not only TV. I just saw an entirely new Apple I Phone campaign on an outdoor billboard!

The fact is you need to look at all the advertising avenues available to you, not just one. Sure, “used car, hard selling” tactics aren’t the best tactics, but if you believe in what you do, then say it, wear it, and make sure everyone else knows it too, no matter what medium you use.

So, take a breath, stay focused on what truly matters to your company, and take a well-balanced approach. You’ll still want to donate, take pride in going green, and promote clean water, but you’ll no longer be doing it as a photo-op or to find favor with some. You’ll be doing it, because you mean it, and donating anonymously is a beautiful thing. Remember, what really matters is how you carry yourself when no one else is looking! And one more thing, a millennial may be a millennial forever, but they won’t always be 25 years old. And those of us with a little gray on the temples have one thing none of them have: the experience to know there are cycles. While these cycles may change, they never stop, so it’s important to stay consistent.

In my last article of this four-article series I’ll cover how your agency needs to continue to educate you and themselves, while striving to shield your company from the hysteria and fraud that abounds in the digital ad world. By collaborating, you will strengthen your position in the market with this generation.

Until then, I’ll see you around the water cooler app!

To read the next article in the series, “Toll Takers vs. Watchdogs” click here.

In addition to understanding the millennial generation (which was covered in my first article of this series) and how important it is to any business’s marketing focus, the way we go about reaching that audience is equally vital. Many believe digital advertising is the “cure” for your businesses growth and success, particularly to millennials. Unfortunately, many companies often go off the proverbial rail in an attempt to follow that route. But is that really necessary? Please allow me to answer that question with a single word, “No.”

With so much importance being placed on reaching millennials, I decided to re-educate myself on this matter. I and my entire buying team attended a two-day digital advertising summit led by business and tech leaders, digital developers and software giants. It covered everything from email commerce and professional social elevation to font size and geo targeting.

Every speaker at the event had one common point; how to rise above the noise that dominates the digital world. Unfortunately, not only were their solutions inconsistent, some were down right contradictory. One person told us email is the greatest and most productive form of e-commerce with the largest ROI, while the next speaker’s topic was titled, “If email is dead, then you killed it!” I also learned that you don’t need a lot of money to create a ripple, while also being told that businesses need to make a significant investment if they wish to connect with millennials. Pure noise, and it didn’t stop there…

They showed us examples of cool social-branding with investment levels of $40MM to $100MM were spent. In one case, the investment was said to have been so successful it “created a lift for six whole weeks!” More noise!

These tech giants made some incredible claims. They implied that businesses can target the behavior of every consumer, pinpoint everyone’s location, and determine intricate specifics, including whether a person uses Charmin or Quilted! They explained ways you can completely irritate a consumer or make them fall in love with you.

There were folks there from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), and American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s). They all explained the digital advertising model and how it was going to continue to move and improve, but most likely at a steep price. Where there was once a cost per impression rate(CPM), a cost per click rate (CPC) and cost per acquisition rate (CPA), there would soon be a cost per engagement rate (CPE), which may cost you up to $100 per engagement. “But it will be worth it,” they assured us, “because you’ll have a bonafide lead!”

More than one speaker explained that businesses shouldn’t worry about profits; they should focus instead on making a difference in the world and helping the consumer feel better about themselves.  According to them, that’s the real way a company rises above the noise. But, they added a caveat, as well: You must continue to be mindful of profits, at least to some extent, in order to remain in business.

Now, I ask you, does any of that make sense? The fact is the only thing I found to be truly clear after hearing these industry professionals speak is that all this “noise” they were suggesting we “rise above” seemed to be coming from them! I realized as I listened that this isn’t noise at all, but actually a diabolical business model they use to create noise, corporate insecurity and which keeps all of it veiled in a cloud of uncertainty and it shows no signs of slowing down or becoming less profitable. It’s clearly by design! Businesses and agencies need to begin to rein them in.

According to these industry giants, there isn’t much they don’t know and can’t accomplish with digital advertising. But, ask any of them to guarantee something as simple as above the fold placement, where people will actually see an advertising message, and then all bets are off, unless, of course, you are willing to pay a premium for it. They have created their own self-serving guidelines, which mimics giving the convicts the keys to the prison. But don’t worry, they are all working on transparency! How do I know? They told me so!

There’s no dispute that the digital medium is powerful and necessary for a business to remain relevant into the future, but not at all costs! To be successful, your advertising should be a balance of strategically placed traditional and digital media, and its value should make it worth placing where it will reach all markets. It’s no different than making a good beef stew. You need a meat, various vegetables, and a little starch. Anything less than that and it will be a stew that looks more like potato soup!

In my next two articles of this four-article series I’ll cover how your company and the agencies need to independently and collaboratively work together to stabilize and strengthen their positions in the market with digital companies and the millennial generation.

Until then, I’ll see you around the water cooler app!

To read the next article in the series, “The Tail is Wagging the Dog,” click here.

Everyone talks about it and the industry is fighting it. So why can’t we find a way to stop it?

It seems that almost every week a new tool is introduced to combat ad fraud. But why, despite efforts to end the practice, does ad fraud persist?

Ad fraud is a type of scam in which phony online advertising impressions, clicks, conversions or engagements are characterized as authentic to generate revenue, despite the ads not being truly viewed or intentionally engaged with. While most ad fraud is thought of as nonhuman traffic created by “bots” (computer programs created to automatically click on a website or app simulating a human interaction), a significant percentage is generated by humans, intentionally or by lack of proper ad placements and tracking.

How big an impact does ad fraud have?

While estimates about the impact vary, it is believed that marketers are expected to lose approximately $16.4 billion to ad fraud in 2017. Incidents of fraud are reported worldwide with the majority of ad fraud taking place in the United States which has the largest advertising market and highest pricing for CPM (cost-per-mille) and CPC (cost-per-click), and now CPE or (cost-per-engagement).

How does it happen?

The digital medium is an ever-growing media channel, which creates new avenues to place ads as quickly as people can think them up and create a website, blog or app. Unfortunately, due to this seemingly endless expanse of digital ad options, attention to detail is often usurped by the drive to sell more ads and expand the current model. The “Fraud” happens when an advertiser is paying for an ad placement for a business, and the ad is either not seen, not seen long enough to create an impact, viewed on a site out of context for the product, delivered to the wrong potential demographic group, or only viewed by a “bot” set up to create false click through rates automatically.

Why does ad fraud persist?

There are many reasons that ad fraud continues to be a problem. One of the main reasons is the way in which ad success has been and continues to be measured.

Advertisers have been measuring their ad success since the first mobile ad was placed in 1994. While there are many tools available, advertisers have been relying on click-through-rates (CTR) and time-spent-on-page (TSP) as their primary metrics for ad success. Unfortunately, both CTR and TSP are easily replicated by bots and bot farms, making ad fraud a perfect target for criminals to cash in.

Ad fraud offers the prospect of high payouts with relatively little effort and a minimal risk of prosecution compared to other criminal pursuits. Also, the crime itself resides in a gray area of jurisdiction, making it difficult for law enforcement to prosecute. Combine those factors with the lack the technological know-how or resources of law enforcement to monitor, prevent or prosecute ad fraud, it makes it an attractive activity for cyber criminals.

One of the most surprising obstacles to eliminating ad fraud, however, is the disincentive from within the advertising industry itself to fix the problem. Though it would provide better performance results, eliminating fraud would result in fewer delivered impressions, which would as a result reduce ad profits. In addition, eliminating ad fraud could result in higher media prices and less inventory, making it more difficult and costly for small businesses to afford online advertising. So, fraud, in some ways, appears to “help” the industry, but in reality, it does not!

Not only is there a disincentive within the ad industry to eliminate ad fraud, industry insiders themselves have been caught taking advantage of the opaque monitoring systems by committing these acts. According to a Buzzfeed, a CEO of an ad platform and digital marketing agency was the owner of 12 websites that served as a network to defraud advertisers. Experts say that millions of dollars were stolen from over 100 brands including P&G, Unilever, Hershey’s, Johnson & Johnson, Ford, and MGM.

With so few internal ad industry incentives to do away with fraud, it is expected that at least half of the growing $72-billion-a-year digital marketing industry will remain fraudulent. Despite the prediction, some in the advertising industry remain vigilant to put in place strategies and measurement services to combat and minimize fraud.

“There are many preventative measures to stop ad fraud before it happens,” said Frank Gussoni President of A3. “Fighting ad fraud is an essential part of our obligation to protect our client’s money as if it were our own.”

 

 

 

 

 

Has marketing and advertising really changed that much in the 21st Century? Is it necessary to completely alter the way we reach audiences from what we did in the past? In this four-part series, I’ll discuss my thoughts on the millennial generation, the way technology has impacted advertising and how companies and advertising agencies need to respond to both.

Contrary to most people’s thinking, Millennials aren’t killing everything. There are articles and seminars about them everywhere. You can even watch a Ted Talks video titled “Millennials: Who they are and why we hate them.” Contrary to what so many people are saying, Millennials aren’t crazy or killing everything. Just like the generations that proceeded them, their habits have bruised certain industries and created others.

Those who swooned over Elvis were considered sacrilegious by their parents during the 1950s. In the 1970s members of the younger generations were called “rebels” because they wore bell bottoms, grew long hair and couldn’t enjoy music unless their ears bled. The 90’s brought youths wearing all black grunge clothing. Every new generation blazes its own trail and the previous generation doesn’t appreciate being challenged by this seemingly inevitable evolution.

In the 50’s, TV was guaranteed to kill print, it didn’t. In the 60’s FM stations were going to destroy album sales, they didn’t. 8 tracks were replaced by cassettes, which were replaced by cd’s and now they’ve all been replaced by smart phones and pure play apps.

The biggest difference isn’t that this new generation is marching to its own beat, but rather that the innovation they’re enjoying is not a single invention, but rather a smarter, more instantaneous form of technology overall. This has magnified their voice and added power to their punch that previous generations didn’t have. Millennials have more information at their fingertips than all previous generations combined, but with that power comes responsibility.

Businesses recognized this phenomenon and started adjusting their strategies and marketing plans to reach the millennial audience. It’s no different in the advertising world. Agencies have made a shift in the way we handle advertising as we know it. “Tech media channels” propose new models virtually every day proclaiming, “Here’s how to reach the millennial audience.” We assumed that the only way to grow our bottom line in this shifting environment was to totally reinvent the medium of advertising. But is that the best answer?

Businesses are now told to be “real.” They are warned not to “sell” to millennials, but rather to “engage them,” and that it’s cool to be “retro” as long as you’re “new!” With that confusing advice, it’s not surprising that businesses are beginning to completely unravel looking for the “silver bullet” to win over this generation. I say don’t waste your time, because that “silver bullet” doesn’t exist!

I propose we slow down and put everything back into perspective. Whether it’s through Social Media, Mobile, Digital, Apps, etc., there simply isn’t a single strategy that is going to make this generation say, “Yup! That’s for me!” It’s time we assess this situation accurately and recognize that our businesses and advertising don’t have to completely change for this one generation. Instead, we must learn to better understand the growing opportunities this climate offers, and make them a part of what we know has worked for generations in the past.

In my next three articles of this series, I will cover how your company can work together with both the tech industry and advertising agencies to stabilize the digital advertising world and strengthen your positions in the market with this generation.

Until then, I’ll see you around the water cooler app!

To continue reading the next article in the series, “The Noise,” click here.

With a record number of shoppers expected to go online for holiday purchases this year, so too are advertising dollars – and for good reason. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve:

  • Impressions typically increase 50%
  • Click-through rates rise 100%
  • Conversion rates go up 60%.

This upsurge in online traffic also translates into higher sales for retailers. A 2015 study of all e-commerce advertisers showed that consumers tend to spend 17% more during these months compared to non-holiday purchases. As a result, ad space is priced at a premium compared to pricing during the rest of the year with the average CPMs (cost per thousand) increasing 39 percent on mobile and 180 percent on desktop.

As ad dollars flood into online marketing, so do fraudsters looking to take advantage of retailers. According to cyber-security firm, White Ops, fraudsters could siphon off up to $3.56 billion from U.S. advertisers this holiday season. So how can retailers avoid becoming a victim of fraudsters?

“The best defense, is a good offense,” said Frank Gussoni President of A3. “Knowing when and how ad fraud is most likely to occur, and then taking steps to ensure your ad dollars reach consumers is critical.”

THREE STEPS TO KEEP YOUR AD SAFE FROM FRAUDSTERS

1) Insist on third-party verification  

Many agencies offer “fraud-free guarantees” but do not go far enough to examine whether purchased ads were seen. As a result, much ad fraud escapes detection, leaving advertisers to pay the price for ads not seen. To avoid falling into this trap, partner with agencies that have established a clear benchmark to meet high-quality standards with reputable third-party verification companies.

2) Ensure brand safety

Too many ads on the screen or those that appear around offensive content degrade the value of your ad buy and diminish the user experience. Partner with agencies that have cultivated relationships with high-quality publishers to ensure strict quality standards including limits on the number of ads per page.

3) Work with agencies that negotiate directly with publishers

Many agencies work with programmatic exchanges that charge fees resulting in a reduction in dollar-for-dollar buying power. To ensure every dollar is maximized, work with agencies that provide transparency in their transactions with publishers.

Despite its inflated cost and risk, holiday online advertising is particularly important since every purchaser you attract during these months is likely to spend substantially more than your typical “non-holiday” customer. Ad viewability and reducing ad fraud are important all year long but with the increase in online traffic and the increase of potential fraud that comes with it, ensuring solid fraud-proof strategies are in place before the holiday season are essential.

To learn more about how you can protect your business from ad fraud, contact us at info@ashleyadvertsing.com or call (610) 631-5500.

 

 

Outcomes give hope in effort to reduce industry-wide ad fraud

King of Prussia, PA – November 28, 2018

 

A3 media (A3), a media buying and planning agency, announced today the successful completion of a pilot program to test the application of blockchain technology in digital advertising. Blockchain acts as a third-party verification system to independently authenticate placements, sites, impressions and clicks. As a result of the positive outcomes from the pilot project, A3 plans to continue testing blockchain for digital advertising with partner, Lucidity Tech. If successful, A3 will be one of the first agencies in the region to offer the technology as a service for their clients.

The viewability of online advertising, a measurement relating to whether an ad has been seen, invaded by bots or clicked on by a person, is a major concern for brands. Industry experts estimate that almost 40 percent of the money spent on digital advertising is wasted by deceptive and careless practices.

“Every time you run a digital campaign, you have no real window into the programmatic supply chain,” stated A3 President and Founder, Frank Gussoni. “As a result, suspicious fraud activity, domain spoofing, bid caching, and bot attacks happen more often without your knowledge and without consequence.”

While many attempts have been made to reduce the waste and fraud, few have held the promise of blockchain. The technology, developed by Lucidity Tech, acts as an incorruptible digital ledger of transactions. It verifies impressions and provides programmatic supply chain transparency through a neutral, decentralized shared register—capable of processing and verifying high volumes of data from multiple parties to reach consensus on the ads’ success. Lucidity checks the results of each campaign twice to authenticate their outcome.

“As an agency, we’ve always been committed to transparency which is why blockchain technology appealed to us. Blockchain ingests data from across the programmatic supply chain to ensure that all the records being reported “match.” If discrepancies are found, that tells us that something suspicious is happening, possibly malicious, and we optimize away from those placements,” said Gussoni.

The pilot project examined impressions and clicks. When blockchain was applied, the agency was able to identify placements with less than 1% discrepancy between the two trials. Results of the verified clicks showed a discrepancy of less than 4%. Regular impressions compared to confirmed impressions yielded a 3.5% discrepancy while regular clicks compared to confirmed clicks yielded a 15% difference. High discrepancy means there are issues with the placements which could be a result of bots or another type of fraud.

“By removing those placements, we were able to increase our client’s campaign efficiency by 8%.” stated Tami Freeman, Director of Multi Media Client Strategy for A3.

“As an industry, there’s tremendous pressure from the advertisers to become more transparent,” stated Sam Kim, CEO and Founder of Lucidity Tech. “The way we designed it, it will benefit those who are honest and transparent. Those who aren’t, it’ll be harmful to them. We expect to see adoption from those who are completely transparent and honest, and hopefully drive the industry in that direction.”

A3’s initial pilot will be followed by tests to examine fee transparency, digital publisher signature, and audience verification. A report of those outcomes is expected to be released in January 2019. To date, A3 is the only agency using their own funds, instead of a client budget, to participate in the blockchain pilot program.

“A3 was founded on a commitment to clarity and honesty in advertising,” stated Frank Gussoni. “We’re proud to partner with Lucidity to test blockchain capabilities. The pilot represents the first collaborative attempt by industry leaders, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, marketers and agencies to address the lack of transparency and accountability within digital advertising.”

For more information about blockchain for advertising, click here

 

Blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions, called blocks which are linked together in an immutable register, or chain. Each block contains an exact record of transactions between two independent parties in a verifiable permanent way. While most people associate blockchain with cryptocurrency, the technology has useful applications to many industries including advertising.

Today, there are millions of opportunities for marketers to reach their target audiences. To help make the process manageable, advertising is now able to be purchased through a programmatic system, an automated process of buying and selling of a digital ad inventory across a wide range of websites. They are comprised of the supply side platforms (SSP) and demand side platform (DSP). Programmatic buying allows advertisers to automate the purchasing of online advertising through the analysis of millions of ads buying opportunities per second. Programmatic advertising helps advertisers consolidate the media buying process to place advertising across relevant content channels to maximize a campaign’s effectiveness. Despite its efficiency and speed, the road from ad purchase to placement is long and problematic. There are a lot of bad actors who permeate the system with fraud, waste and abuse. This is where blockchain comes in.

Whereas advertising lacks the transparency of data and process, blockchain offers transparency into both. Blockchain acts as an independent third-party digital ledger of transactions. The technology verifies placements, bonafide sites, viewability, run times, impressions and clicks. It provides programmatic supply chain transparency through an immutable, decentralized shared register—capable of processing and verifying high volumes of data from multiple parties to reach consensus on the ads’ success. What you see in a blockchain database is an exact, accurate history of what transpired. If fraud or bots are detected, blockchain will alert the buyer and they can direct the reallocation of assets between publishers without delay, thus cleaning up the supply chain. The result is an advertising eco-system with built-in solutions to combat bots, fraud and viewability problems as well as real time redirect of campaign funds.

Lucidity Tech and the IAB are testing blockchain technology with marketers, agencies and other supply side platforms (SSPs) as a meaningful solution to address the issues. A3 was one of the first ten agencies across the country invited to participate in the pilot by Lucidity.

To know more about how blockchain can benefit your marketing efforts, contact A3 media at (610) 631-5500.

Group hopes the technology will ease ad fraud

King of Prussia, PA – September 10, 2018

A3 media (A3) is participating in a nationwide pilot program to reduce fraudulent billing and delivery discrepancies plaguing digital advertising. The pilot, headed by Lucidity Tech and sponsored by the IAB, is testing blockchain technology as a meaningful solution to address the issues. A3 is one of only ten agencies across the country invited to participate in the pilot by Lucidity.

The viewability of online advertising, a measurement relating to whether an ad has been seen, invaded by bots or clicked on by a person, is a major concern for brands. Industry experts estimate that almost 20 percent of the money spent on digital advertising is wasted by deceptive and careless practices. These activities cost brands $16.4 billion globally in 2017. The problem is so pervasive that many brands are reducing their advertising spend until the industry makes significant steps to remedy ad fraud.

Blockchain records transactions between two parties in a multi-point verifiable without needing first and third-party authentication. If successful, the technology will dramatically reduce ad fraud and increase transactional trust between advertisers and technology partners.

For A3, the blockchain pilot program is an extension of its twenty-year commitment to programmatic transparency. Ten years ago, the agency developed its own program, M3, which reconciled the data used by different parts of the ad supply chain to verify whether the ads were seen and properly targeted. M3 also helped the media agency connect digital advertising placement to product sales. A3 is the only agency using their own funds, instead of a client budget, to participate in the blockchain pilot program.

“A3 was founded on a commitment to clarity and honesty in advertising,” stated Frank Gussoni. “We’re proud to partner with Lucidity and the IAB to test blockchain capabilities. The pilot represents the first collaborative attempt by industry leaders, marketers and agencies to address the lack of transparency and accountability within digital advertising.”

About A3 media

A3 media transforms media from an expense into a smart investment. Since 1994, we have successfully helped regional businesses launch new products, expand into new markets and increase sales through media plans that make every dollar spent do more. Our clients have included brands such as Yuengling and Ashley Furniture. For more information about blockchain technology and A3, click here.