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DBM is Heading into Holiday with Additional Brand Safety

4 MINUTE READ | November 9, 2017

DBM is Heading into Holiday with Additional Brand Safety

As we have officially entered the holiday months, a time when most brands have an influx of budget and willingness to test, digital marketers are tasked with developing media strategies that hit brand KPIs, get in front of qualified users and are just a little bit outside the box.

To do this, many brands look towards the programmatic world to find scale and target users in new ways during this time of year, and this year more than ever, brand safety measures is a question that comes up during planning. Google specifically has been challenged this year with both negative content alignment and fraud within their products and as a result of this, are continuing to roll out updates in their platforms to avoid any brand safety concerns.



Over 180 automated filters and detection algorithms have been built over the years to prevent invalid traffic from impacting Google’s clients. Now, Google is looking to expand their ecosystem with even more sophisticated systems, so we’ve recapped those new updates and sprinkled in a few tips. The content below highlights a few areas within DoubleClick Bid Manager that are experiencing updates:

Partners such as AppNexus, Index Exchange, OpenX, Pubmatic, SpotX, Teads, Telaria and DoubleClick Ad Exchange are lining up to partake in a new infrastructure that will analyze and automate invalid traffic. The new infrastructure will look at 30-days post campaign and review up to 90% of the inventory served within respective flights and or campaigns. Long-term, Google is looking to offer advertisers the option to buy only from trusted sources, diminishing invalid traffic rates.

Tip:  Look to also reconcile partner data 30-day post flight, layering in invalid traffic filters to be properly communicated to your Google support team to ensure the refund is applied.

DBM is investing in reporting features to give advertisers and supply partners greater visibility into where and what invalid traffic defenses detect. Advertisers will be able to see and understand the amount of invalid traffic detected in their campaigns both pre-bid and post-serve, including breakdowns by categories like data center traffic, automated browsers, and falsely represented inventory.

Tip: As a best practice, ensure that all media programs are compliant with IAB viewability standards of 50%+.  PMG’s best practice is to see viewability thresholds of 60%+, while also deploying strict blacklists to prevent invalid traffic from bots, questionable domains, etc. Conversely, PMG also recommends isolating monthly domain reports and sifting through top impression and traffic driving sites in order to craft brands their own proprietary whitelist based on strong performance.

Recently, the IAB Tech Lab released the ads.txt standard to increase supply chain transparency and make it more difficult to sell counterfeit inventory. Ads.txt stands for Authorized Digital Sellers and is a simple and secure method that publishers can use to publicly declare the companies they authorize to sell their digital inventory. By creating a public record of Authorized Digital Sellers, ads.txt will create greater transparency in the inventory supply chain. By early November, DoubleClick Bid Manager will only buy a publisher’s inventory from sources identified as authorized sellers in its ads.txt file when a file is available.

Tip: Ads.txt isn’t ready for those who are in Content Syndication.  When working with content syndicators, at least two pieces of information have to be verified. First, it’s important to validate the domain that the content is syndicated through, second, the domain that the content is produced from. Ads.txt is ready for the four most common formats (Banner, Audio, Video, Native). With DBM restricting its biddable impressions, we might see a few limitations with scale heading into Holiday.

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Advertising fraud is a complex challenge.  Moving into Holiday, consider these tips, but also know that partners are working to quickly and more intelligently to keep brands safe.


Posted by Kia Igel

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