NEW YORK: Brands eager to tackle the issue of bot fraud must take a proactive, rather than "laissez-faire", approach to driving progress, a leading executive from La Quinta Inns & Suites has argued.

Amy Bartle, La Quinta's director for media and digital marketing, discussed this subject at Advertising Week 2015 in New York City.

And she reported that the hotel group has everywhere doubled down on the problem of bot fraud, from its requests for proposals through to working with expert vendors to provide real-time, in-campaign metrics for publishers and agencies.

"My RFPs say I only pay for human traffic as monitored by – and I specify – a partner," said Bartle. (For more, including further tips for brands, read Warc's exclusive report: How La Quinta Inns & Suites blocks bot fraud.)

This willingness to take the lead in tackling ad fraud, Bartle suggested, is an activity where brand custodians need to truly earn that title.

"If there's one place where I will stand and say clients tend to abdicate their responsibility, it is in a laissez-faire attitude in agency oversight," she said.

"As much as I want my agency to make everything run perfectly for me – and they come really close – the clients have to set high standards and make sure the agencies have their backing to get it done."

As part of this process, La Quinta has added special "tags" to each piece of its digital advertising – a tactic which helps it determine whether traffic is human or not, and thus if publishers should receive payment.

By driving such initiatives, the brand has both provided the necessary support to its agency and, where needed, further encouragement to other partners involved in its digital advertising efforts.

"I can tell you: my agency team will attest that implementing this type of thing across every single digital piece you run is no easy task," said Bartle.

"I also know that there were partners on the plan who said, 'Gee; we can't do that'. And when that was reported to me and I said, 'Gee; I'm not buying then', less than 24 hours later, magically, they could implement the plan."

Data sourced from Warc