For brand safety reasons, it’s incredibly important that advertisers understand and have control over where their ads are served. Just imagine how a movie ad for Warner Bros. serving on a site promoting pirated content would undermine the Warner Bros. brand. But that is exactly what can happen when advertisers fall victim domain bait and switch. Marketers think they are buying ad space on legitimate, brand-friendly sites, but in reality, these ads are running on sites devoted to pirated content and mass file sharing.
Here’s how they’re making this work. Just like legitimate publishers, a file-sharing site makes its ad inventory available for sale through a middleman. That network, however, knows that advertisers are unlikely to want to run their ads on a site with such questionable content.
To unload that ad inventory, the ad network changes how that inventory is presented in the ad exchange that way when an advertiser buys video ad inventory through the exchange, it believes it is buying ads on a legitimate site.
To combat masked domains, ad exchanges and network need to be vigilant about who they do business with and actively monitor the inventory they traffic.
While tackling these issues can be daunting, rest assured that SpotX is aware of the constant vigilance and adaptation required to succeed in our quickly evolving landscape. Our eyes are always open and with the SpotX’s Transparency and Informed Control feature set, buyers and sellers are always 100% in charge of their accounts. Our mantra of complete transparency drives us to provide clients the information they need to determine what constitutes quality inventory and the tools to act on those determinations. To combat this issue specifically, we use a combination of DoubleVerify’s technology along with human verification to ensure buyers are serving their video ads on the legitimate sites they intended to.
Read more from our Fraud Series:
- Fraud Series Part 1: The Irresistible Allure of Ad Dollars
- Fraud Series Part 2: Hidden Ads
- Fraud Series Part 3: Botnets & Hijacked Devices
- Fraud Series Part 4: Proxy Traffic
- Fraud Series Part 5: Domain Bait & Switch
- Fraud Series Part 6: Q&A with DoubleVerify, the Leading Industry Performance Innovator
- Fraud Series Part 7: Q&A with DoubleVerify, Top Trends & Recommendations
Leah White, Senior Manager, Product Marketing