Thursday, July 22, 2010

DoubleVerify Launches Fraud Detection Lab

Digital media-verification company DoubleVerify on Wednesday debuted a research arm to uncover fraudulent sites, as well as malware, spyware, adware and other forms of fraudulent online ads. The Advertising Fraud Detection Lab will investigate ad fraud in real-time and raise awareness of deceptive scams taking place online.

"Marketers are often unaware when compliance is at risk due to rogue publishers acting inappropriately on ad networks and exchanges, and most ad networks don't typically have the capabilities to verify the problem in real-time," said Oren Netzer, CEO of DoubleVerify. "We created the Virtual Visitors technology specifically to combat this problem."

In an initial test, the Lab identified several examples of fraudulent publisher schemes that waste ad spend and put advertisers in danger of severe punishment from the government, regardless of whether they were aware of it taking place or not.

Common -- yet deceptive -- types of fraud observed include misplacing or stealing ad tags, whereby organizations sign up as a legitimate publisher and then re-place the tag onto an inappropriate site for advertisers. Affiliate fraud is another in which publishers using an affiliate program in order to accumulate more traffic upload affiliate sites in hidden iFrames, which users can't see.

Invisible ads, meanwhile, occur when ads are on micro-sized iFrames that are essentially hidden to users because they can't see them even if they are prominently placed on the page.

Launched in May 2008, DoubleVerify launched its real-time verification solution for online ad transactions last May. In March, the startup raised a $10 million series B financing round led by Institutional Venture Partners.

Presently, DoubleVerify's platform and technology verify over 20 billion monthly impressions on behalf of marketers in a range of verticals, including telecom, pharma, retail, finance, CPG, and entertainment.

Late last year, video ad network Tremor Media tapped DoubleVerify for increased accountability and transparency of video ad campaigns. Tremor serves in-stream and in-banner video ads across a network of over 1,500 mid-tier and premium sites including WWE.com and WSJ.com.

The new lab will encourage collaboration between advertisers, ad networks and publishers to fight malicious activities that harm brands, legitimate publishers and users, and negatively affect the industry overall.

In the fall, the group plans to publish a white paper detailing findings from the first few months of its inception and recommending actions to mitigate publisher fraud risk.
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