WSJ: How Allstate and Dstillery Avoid Fraudulent Ads on Exchanges

Mike Shields wrote a nice piece in the Wall Street Journal about how Dstillery helps protect Allstate from buying fraudulent ad impressions in the open exchanges.

I spoke to Mike about this article and was quoted a couple of times including:

“The thing about fraud, it’s all still the same,” he said. “What we identified a few years ago, it’s still out there. The best you can do is stay a half step behind the people who perpetrate it. You need to be constantly vigilant on it.”

I’m really proud of the work Dstillery does to protect clients from ad fraud and happy to see it recognized.

From the m6d Blog: The Constant Gardener

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to post on the m6d blog about some exciting technology we’re developing to ensure the quality exchange inventory we buy.  I re-posted it below, but you can (and should) read the original here.


Ad exchanges are like a garden bed. Just as soil doesn’t know the difference between a flower and a weed, ad exchanges do not always distinguish between good and bad inventory. It takes a vigilant gardener to weed out any undesirable elements. Lately, Media6Degrees has been doing a lot of gardening.

We are, and intend to remain, the most aggressive company in the exchange ecosystem in rooting out the bad stuff so that we buy only the best impressions for our marketers. We’ve been told repeatedly by our supply partners that nobody takes inventory quality more seriously than we do.

Our approach manifests itself in four areas:

  1. Brand Safety
  2. Ad Collision (also known as Unintended Roadblocks) Prevention
  3. Fraud Protection
  4. Viewability

Continue reading

Newsday Trash Delivery Service

It seems that every means of legitimate direct marketing has a way for consumers to opt-out.  There is the do-not-call list for telemarketing.  There are rules requiring e-mailers and direct mail marketing to remove you from their lists if requested.   Online advertising has the About Ads program.

Newsday has a weekly circular called “This Week’s PennySaver” that they have been delivering to my house every Saturday.  They might call it marketing.  I call it trash.  I looked through it today, and there wasn’t any obvious way to opt-out so I tweeted the following:

Hey @newsday, how do I opt out of your weekly trash delivery service?  Didn’t ask for it, don’t want it.

Surprisingly, they responded pretty quickly with:

@kreilly Here’s contact info for the delivery services: Or call: call 1-800-NEWSDAY (1-800-639-7329)

To be honest, at first I thought it was a pretty nice use of Twitter for customer service.  But, unhelpfully, no one is manning the phone number on Saturdays and the link doesn’t give me any obvious way to opt-out on the web.   Now I wonder if the tweet was an automated response based on my use of the word “delivery.”

Chances are good that I’ll forget to call again this week and wind up annoyed again next Saturday.  There’s a pretty good chance that I’ll be receiving this for a long time to come.  No opt-out.  Bad job.

Post from Media6Degrees Blog: Ad Choices Update

As part of an industry-wide self regulatory effort, Media6Degrees has been displaying a notice in its advertisements to help consumers understand their choices around privacy.  I recently posted an update on how that program was performing:

[T]his initiative provides real information and choice to the subset of people who are interested in opting-out. A 3% post-click conversion rate is not bad from a direct response perspective. The people who are concerned about their privacy are taking action when the option is offered to them. This is exactly how the program is designed to work.

You can read the whole thing here.