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More digital sellers offer money back

News, 08 April 2016

NEW YORK: Traditional advertising channels are selling their medium by exploiting advertisers' concerns about the extent of online fraud, with digital sellers responding by offering money-back guarantees.

Keith Eadie, chief marketing officer at TubeMogul, the latest advertising software platform to take such a step, admitted it was "an operational burden" but added that it was the right thing to do.

"We want to remove fraud as a concern for everyone who uses our platform," he told Advertising Age.

In fact, TubeMogul's fraud rate is already low, at a claimed 1%, and Eadie was confident the fraud issue could actually work in his favour.

"It will be part of what differentiates us," he said. "We have a lot of inbound interest globally from this initiative because ad fraud is such a hot topic. Removing ad fraud from the equation is part of our marketing."

Hammering away at ad fraud has become part of the marketing for traditional channels, however. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America said it got a 6% sales lift following a campaign directly attacking online ad fraud which it ran last fall during Advertising Week in New York.

And Advertising Age expected that TV executives would be talking up the issue at the spring Upfronts.

But how effective scare tactics are is open to question: it's an advertising market and markets adjust, with risk factors being priced in.

Further, marketers will also have made allowances for a certain amount of wastage for their spending in traditional media, pointed out Yael Avidan, VP/Product at mobile programmatic platform Adelphic.

"Each channel carries its own challenges," she said. "If out-of-home and TV were measured using online metrics, their viewability would have rendered them borderline fraudulent."

Programmatic media buying vendor DataXu has been running a money-back guarantee scheme for more than a year and claims to have saved its clients $54m while increasing its own business at the same time.

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff