Advertising Attribution


Untangling Digital Advertising

Digital advertising continues to struggle with fraud, spam, malware, non-viewable ads, viruses, low-quality inventory and redundant reach. The chair of the Interactive Advertising Bureau IAB, Vivek Shah estimates  that “About 36 percent of all Web traffic is considered fake, the product of computers hijacked by viruses and programmed to visit sites.” Another estimate by Comscore puts the number at 40%.

Also Cisco estimates that malicious ads were delivered to roughly 300,000 Yahoo visitors per hour during 2014, translating to 27,000 infections every hour when taking into account a 9 percent typical malware infection rate.

The underlying cause of all these problems is lack of attribution, transparency and accountability.

The Solution – Ad Attribution

KSI is the basis for the Attributed Internet: Tag, Track and Locate for every piece of data with real-time attribution back to a machine (such as an ad exchange) or human source. With data level attribution it becomes possible for consumers to verify the source of the ads they are clicking and advertisers can verify what is happening to their inventory with collect, track, correlate at scale without the use of cookies.

By applying that principle to ads it becomes possible to have real-time verification of how those ads are being displayed – independently from outsourced service providers. There is no longer a need to trust anyone – you can verify all activity independently.

When malware infects an ad, the changed state provides a real-time alert, which can then be investigated, audited, and/or behavior stopped. By signing inventory at source ad exchanges can verify the provenance and integrity of the source and those properties extend to display in a browser enabling viewers to verify the provenance and integrity of the ads being displayed.

Currently, most ad servers attribute 100% of credit to the last impression or click served. This ‘last touch’ attribution completely misses the contribution effect that results from other ad impressions that occurred before the last impression was shown.

KSI enables ‘viewability’ to be measured, ensuring that there it is not a single channel approach (display), but spread across multiple media channels (display, video, mobile, email, search, etc) and at the same time prove the presence of ad farms and eliminate the need for crunching massive amounts of data in order to ensure all of the advertising “touch points” are analyzed and receive the proper levels of credit.

Who Benefits from Attribution?

Consumers:
With data level attribution it becomes possible for consumers to verify the source of the ads they are clicking and most importantly when it is discovered that a property is infected with malware and viruses action can be taken. Once verified they can click on ads without fear of infection and trust in online advertising can be restored.

Regulators/Auditors:
With complete accountability regulators can regulate, auditors can audit in a transparent manner without the need to trust the parties that are presenting the data.

Exchanges:
Exchanges get complete transparency, accountability and indemnification from liability when something goes wrong. Malware can be attributed back to a source and therefore eliminated and reliability of the whole system is increased, restoring trust in a system and increasing the ROI for their customers.

Advertisers
Currently, most ad servers attribute 100% of credit to the last impression or click served and the reliability of the data is to close to zero, even as marketers are increasingly serious about shifting budgets online and into mobile. Nearly 30 percent of all US advertising is now digital and, increasingly, it’s bought through automated platforms and systems, yet there is no verifiability, just trust in a system which is clearly failing. With KSI Advertisers can verify what is happening to their inventory and collect, track, correlate at scale without the use of cookies.

How to Get KSI for Digital Advertising Platforms

Guardtime's products and solutions can be purchased for your environment following our Design, Build, Operate, and Transfer (DBOT) model. 

We're always happy to discuss your concrete requirements, please register your interest.

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