Advertising Assurance: A Global, Multi-Lateral Approach to Protecting Brand Safety in Video Advertising

Categories: News    ||    Posted on: April 10, 2014

By Sean Crawford, Vice President, Global Head of Inventory

Video advertising continues to grow more than 40 percent every year, according to eMarketer. It’s no surprise that the influx of money and interest in the space has attracted very sophisticated criminal organizations and enticed others to employ gimmicks and games to take advantage of advertisers. has always understood that the future of TV and video depends on maintaining the efficacy of the Web, and, to that end, has always had safety as its top priority to bring greater transparency and accountability to video buyers and sellers globally.

Today, we are unveiling the evolution of our efforts: Advertising Assurance, a set of adaptive measures that aim to protect brand investments in the industry’s largest, safest and most diverse video marketplace.

Advertising Assurance draws upon existing first- and third-party technologies integrated to work in tandem with each other within’s buyer and seller platforms, Audience Path and Demand Path respectively. Protecting those transacting in video requires a multi-lateral approach, addressing the industry-wide issues of fraud, viewability and placement accuracy together, rather than piecemeal. Advertising Assurance provides marketers with a crystal clear understanding of and actionable insights about the audiences they are reaching within video.

We understand that those who seek to defraud the system will use any number of known and yet unknown tactics to do so – what worked yesterday may not necessarily work tomorrow. We have brought together the best available technologies, from our own development (such as the industry’s first certified viewability solution for video) and through third-party partnerships, which adapt to the tactics of those who seek to maliciously take advantage of video advertising.

An open technology platform allows us to extend our brand safety developments with powerful third-party solutions, and we are happy to announce a key integration with Integral Ad Science, a leading global provider of actionable advertising intelligence in real-time. They have been an important complement in our efforts to stay ahead of the latest issues threatening the value of video advertising.

Avi Goldwerger, VP of Marketing, Integral Ad Science, added: “Through this partnership, can utilize data to protect their clients by ensuring that all ads are served to humans and that the media placement is brand safe, appropriate and reflects favorably on the brand.”

Because methodologies and technical capabilities vary widely, we continue to experiment with and evaluate additional partner solutions to augment and optimize our efforts, and they are made available through’s App Center, a centralized place to discover, integrate and manage best-in-breed ad and safety technologies.

While has taken one of the most aggressive approaches to protecting brand safety in video, we know it requires an even greater, concerted effort by the whole industry to create the standards and processes within which video advertising can safely thrive. The IAB’s Traffic of Good Intent Task Force (TOGI) is leading the way on that front and has already produced valuable guidelines, with input from, Integral Ad Science and other digital leaders, to help identify, understand and raise awareness of fraud and other issues. Similarly, the Media Rating Council (MRC) and IAB are moving to improve the quality of measurement and standardize viewability metrics, and we highly encourage adoption of their guidelines once finalized for video advertising.

We also encourage additional collaboration within the advertising community to continue offering a united front against those scheming to take advantage of the global trend of internet-delivered video, and we will continue our multi-lateral effort to bringing greater value to marketers around the world.

For more information about’s Advertising Assurance, contact us at or reach out to your client representative.

AOL Partners with IPG Mediabrands to Introduce ONE at ad:tech San Francisco

Categories: News    ||    Posted on: March 28, 2014

Almost every industry has been improved with mechanization, or the activation of machines to free humans from manual processes.

It happened in farming, with the introduction of motorized equipment.

It happened in finance, when systems were introduced to open up trading to wider segments of the population.

It even happened in shipping, when Malcom McLearn (“the father of containerization”) dramatically improved loading speeds for ships and enabled massive reduction in labor costs beginning in the 1950s.

Mechanization is at the heart of some of the greatest innovations over the past few centuries, yet one segment has not been as impacted by this phenomenon: marketing. As sophisticated as technology and the Internet is in some ways, in others it’s more absurdly manual than industries such as shipping were in the beginning of the last century.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and AOL Platforms CEO Bob Lord took the stage at ad:tech San Francisco to share a vision for advertising that activates the full potential of mechanization: ONE by AOL.

Mechanization is the future of advertising, harnessing the power of automation coupled with the ingenuity and creativity of humans to return the full value of media to advertisers and publishers worldwide.

Through ONE, AOL is committing to mechanize marketing so that advertisers and publishers can tap digital innovation to drive growth and efficiency. We’ve heard a lot over the past couple of years about programmatic – but that’s only part of this massive industry shift. Bob said it best on stage with the analogy that “programmatic is to the ad tech world what mechanization will be to marketing.”

Over the next four years, $100 billion will be spent around the world on programmatic, or automated advertising; but the value of those transactions are threatened by an increasingly complex web of features and companies standing between an advertisers and a publisher.

Up to $75 billion of value will be lost to the tech tax associated with doing business in digital advertising, a far cry from traditional TV economics that shows much greater value to both publishers and advertisers.

By bringing together the best of AOL Platforms’ technologies – across, AOP, MARKETPLACE and others – AOL is moving ahead with the strategy laid out four years ago of building a growing media and technology company focused on platforms, content and advertising across all screens and all markets.

We are not alone on this adventure, however. Tim and Bob both spoke of the tremendous feedback they received from advertisers and agencies about the need for simplicity in advertising. (Some media companies, for example, still use fax machines to conduct business.)

IPG’s MAGNA GLOBAL has fully embraced advertising’s automated future and has publicly stated that they plan to deliver 50 percent automation to their North American buying process by 2016, with other international markets following closely behind.

And to reach that goal, Matt Seiler, Global CEO of IPG Mediabrands, joined Tim and Bob on stage to declare that Mediabrands has selected AOL as a primary platform partner to execute on that commitment.

According to Matt, “Partnering with AOL allows us to take full advantage of the power of automation to both execute smart investments more quickly, as well unlock custom content and high-touch solutions through newly available resources.”

The announcement of ONE by AOL is certainly an exciting milestone for the industry, and shows a real path towards a mechanized future where powerful technology platforms help to drive creativity in media rather than add cumbersome layers of complexity.

For more about ONE by AOL, go to

WWPC 2014: Mi9, Vevo, BBC Worldwide and MAGNA GLOBAL on bringing programmatic premium to video

Categories: View Points    ||    Posted on: March 11, 2014

Video advertising has redefined the early impression of programmatic trading as a “race to the bottom,” and more and more premium publisher brands are embracing the ease and monetary benefits of automation. Hear from leading buyers and sellers who are wading into programmatic waters and riding the wave.

Toby Gabriner,

Marc Barnett, Mi9
Tom Bowman, BBC Worldwide

Jonathan Carson, Vevo

Neeraj Kochhar, Magna Global

5 Takeaways for Publishers from Admonsters’ Publisher Forum in NOLA

Categories: View Points    ||    Posted on: March 6, 2014

Last week, the team descended upon New Orleans, Louisiana for Admonsters’ latest Publisher Forum. The event brought together over 100 of the leading executives in media and technology today to discuss, debate and shape the future of digital media.

It’s hard to distill four days of content and insights, but we put together the biggest takeaways we noticed from all of the keynotes, breakout session and meetings:

  1. Data is very versatile, but still underutilized. On the content side, data visualization helps to add another layer to story telling, pulling the viewer closer to your publishing brand. In terms of advertising, marketers are way ahead in using big data analysis to be able to target their ad dollars, but publishers need to better use their own data, particularly 1st party data, to differentiate their offerings and to increase the value of their inventory.
  2. Video continues to be a huge, but yet untapped opportunity for publishers. Only 25% of those who attended breakout sessions reported placing video on their site.
  3. To that end, one of the roadblocks to video proliferating to more sites was the creation of it. Video syndication was cited as a solid strategy for publishers to get their foot in the door of the fastest growing segment of online media.
  4. Responsive design is important for a multi-screen media world. Buffering, video quality or off-player size – issues that come up when trying to develop separately for different platform — can completely waste valuable advertising dollars and frustrate users.
  5. Channel conflict is a key challenge, which needs to be overcome to embark on programmatic video selling. Open and constant communication with direct sales teams is important, as well as compensating your direct salesforce for deals where their buyers choose to transact through the programmatic channel vs. standard RFP & I/O.

Thank you to the Admonsters team for another tremendous publisher conference, and we look forward to participating in their upcoming events.

Q&A with USA TODAY Sports’ Chris Pirrone: Publishers, Don’t Be Afraid of Programmatic

Categories: View Points    ||    Posted on: March 5, 2014

Read any of the latest industry headlines and one thing is clear: programmatic is here to stay.

Conversations about programmatic have shifted from whether or not it will fit into sales channels, to how buyers and sellers are effectively adopting it to maximize the value of their media investments. We are seeing more and more publishers laying the groundwork for success in programmatic, and early adopters seeing impressive gains from their efforts.

USA TODAY Sports started down the programmatic path in 2013, with video being a key part of the growth they have seen since then. We caught up with Chris Pirrone, GM of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties, to get his perspective on programmatic and advice for publishers who may still be experimenting or on the sidelines of the programmatic revolution. USA TODAY Sports made investments into programmatic last year. Can you explain the reasoning behind that?
Chris Pirrone: Given our fast-paced growth (40% year-over-year growth in cross-platform unique users and 120% growth in mobile users) and our audience size (41 million unique users a month, according to comScore), we wanted to invest in processes that helped automate some of the administrative work when partnering with brands and agencies. If we could leverage programmatic to increase efficiencies and reduce the workflow burden, plus allow brands to better capitalize on their knowledge and data, that alone was a win.

But, we also hope that programmatic creates time savings that we can invest in the strategic parts of our relationships; understanding our advertising partner’s objectives and key performance indicators, and figuring out how our sports assets could help these brands better accomplish their marketing goals.

Read the full article »

5 Ways Programmatic TV Is Going to Change Video Advertising as You Know It

Categories: News    ||    Posted on: March 3, 2014 has unveiled the addition of TV to its programmatic buying platform, Audience Path.


Wait…what does that mean?

Basically, programmatic technology gives marketers a really powerful tool in being able to reach increasingly fragmented audiences across screens.

Programmatic TV, specifically, provides buyers of video ads the best of both the TV and digital worlds – the ability to transact against traditional age/sex TV demographics, while automatically optimizing ad spend using customized, more precise audience segments.

MAGNA GLOBAL, the investment and intelligence unit of IPG Mediabrands, is a first-mover in the programmatic TV space and has already run digital and TV campaigns through’s Audience Path platform.

So, what does this mean for TV? For digital? For media in general?

Here are five ways in which programmatic TV is the beginning of the future of media:

- Audience buying. Yes, more buzzwords, but this one is really important in understanding how TV is changing. Madison Avenue is very quickly changing from “buying media” (“I want a 30-second ad during Big Bang Theory”) to “buying audiences” (“I want to find and advertise to 5 million women who like mixed martial arts”). This small shift in how marketers are thinking and allocating their budgets is actually no small feat from a technology perspective, which automation and programmatic is solving for.

- Big data. With the ability to find much more specific audiences comes the need for marketers to have much more information, from multiple sources, at their disposal. So, data, lots of it, is key to making this all work.

- Less irrelevant commercials. People, like snowflakes, are very different from one another. Which is why mass TV advertising, though provides a huge reach, does not necessarily mean ad dollars are being spent the most effective way. Programmatic TV is eventually going to be able to execute what is called addressable TV, or the ability for advertisers to selectively segment TV audiences and serve different ads to each individual.

- Works in tandem with upfront buys. The super majority of TV advertising dollars are committed upfront, and those direct deals aren’t going to go away any time soon. But, for marketers, programmatic, with the addition of TV, allows them to avoid sales channel conflict and confusion by only selling data-defined audiences, never specific shows, networks, geographies or time slots, and do it in conjunction with any digital ad buys they may want to commit.

- TV is really the last frontier of the digital revolution. For as much as many like to say that TV is dying, TV has never been stronger — across screens, people have never watched more video content ever. But, for marketers, this cross-screen fragmentation presents many technological obstacles, which programmatic has begun to solve on the digital side. Twenty or 30 years ago, a marketer could do a single buy on TV and be pretty sure that they were going to hit the majority of Americans who were still relatively offline. Programmatic is helping to make that “single-click buy” a reality again, in a world filled with smartphones, tablets, computers and, yes, TV screens still.

WWPC Video Q&A: Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington and’s Amir Ashkenazi

Categories: View Points    ||    Posted on: February 26, 2014

Arianna Huffington is the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of fourteen books.

WWPC 2014: Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington on How to Future-Proof Your Business

Categories: View Points    ||    Posted on: February 26, 2014

Arianna Huffington is the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of fourteen books.

Post Popularity Graphing by Knowledge Ring