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Group Takes Aim at Ad Fraud with Digital Advertising Blockchain Tech

One in four publishers admit they have no way of detecting web traffic that comes from nonhuman sources. The Data & Marketing Association wants to change that by harnessing blockchain technology to combat bot traffic.

The digital advertising industry drove $175 billion in spending in 2016, and marketers want to know the money they spend will bring in a valuable audience. The bad news is that bots regularly drive spam traffic to a huge portion of sites all over the web.

But a new collaboration among the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) and two technology companies—advertising tech startup MetaX and software developer ConsenSys—will help the industry identify and combat ad fraud by using blockchain software, the technology that underpins bitcoin, which enables secure transactions online and can increase transparency and trust.

The product of the partnership, adChain, is an open protocol on the public Ethereum blockchain that aims to connect the digital advertising industry’s disjointed supply chain, according to a DMA white paper.

The technology targets bot traffic and ad fraud to deliver transparency, security, and verified impression tracking, a press release notes.

“Advertising fraud … is estimated to drive $16.4 billion in losses this year alone. With nearly 20 percent of advertising spend wasted on fraudulent ads, this is an epidemic creating massive losses for the industry,” DMA CEO Tom Benton said in a blog post announcing the technology.

In the effort to eliminate misspent advertising budgets, adChain will provide an encrypted, secure method for executing digital advertising transactions, with the goal of establishing trust and accountability between advertisers and buyers, DMA says.

AdChain will provide domain application vetting as well as a running registry of approved domains, giving the publisher a “cryptographically secure signature” that can act as an identifier in the supply chain, according to the white paper. Additionally, DMA says, it will provide a secure transaction method that can prevent spoofing so that ad buyers can feel confident in the supplier.

Finally, the tech will provide data analytics to drive insights into the industry, according to DMA.

“This makes communicating with your customers easier—and makes the ROI for your ad spend stronger,” Benton said.

(monsitj/Thinkstock)

Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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