LOS ANGELES: Ad fraud costs advertisers billions of dollars a year, but now a solution may be at hand as two leading adtech companies have joined forces with the aim of detecting bot traffic before a digital ad impression is even bought.

White Ops, an ad fraud detection firm that last year made headlines after warning the industry of the dangers posed by so-called methbot cyber fraudsters, has announced that it will scan every single measureable ad impression on The Trade Desk platform in real time.

The two companies will co-locate servers and data centres in North America, Europe and Asia, using White Ops’ technology which aims to verify that the device viewing an ad impression is being used by a human for every impression served on The Trade Desk.

When a non-human impression, or Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT), is identified by White Ops, The Trade Desk will block that impression from serving.

That is expected to reassure the demand-side platform’s roster of clients, which includes FMCG giant Procter & Gamble, which has been vocal this year about the inadequacies of digital advertising.

“For too long, invalid traffic has been part of our industry,” said Jeff Green, CEO and co-founder of The Trade Desk. “There’s no level of fraud that is acceptable. Our partnership with White Ops means that we are the first advertising platform to block non-human impressions at the front door.”

The companies added that clients have been able to use safe pre-bid and post-bid technology on The Trade Desk for some time, but that hasn’t been applied uniformly in campaigns.

“To date, the industry standard response has been to request credits from publishers and SSPs [supply-side platforms], or to create complex thresholds of acceptable fraud, rather than preventing the problem at the start,” their statement read.

However, commenting on the new development, Megan Pagliuca, Global CEO of Omnicom Media Group's programmatic agency Accuen, said: “This is a truly unique approach to fraud prevention that will make a significant impact for our brands.

“Unlike other solutions, the goal here is to run all impressions across The Trade Desk’s platform through White Ops, not just sampled impressions,” she added. “Additionally, the Trade Desk has collaborated with the leading SSPs to bring a unified solution to market.”

Data sourced from White Ops, The Trade Desk; additional content by WARC staff