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About the Series

This is the Ad Tech Build vs. Buy Series, the blog series where Playwire ad tech experts weigh in on the issues that matter to digital publishers today. 

In this entry, Playwire Chief Technology Officer Nick Branstator shares his take on the ad quality and malvertising solutions publishers have to choose from, as well as some considerations to keep in mind as you make your choice.

Check out all the blogs in this series.

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Quality in Advertising Means Quantity in Revenue

Way back in the ad tech dark ages of 2007, when malvertising was first spotted in the wild, publishers and advertisers couldn’t have known this problem would spread to become an enormous, borderline existential threat to digital advertising. But it did, and some ad tech heroes developed malvertising and ad quality solutions to fight it.

Make no mistake: malvertising and ad quality issues are still an enormous threat, but there’s a way around them. In fact, there are dozens of ways if you count the various platforms and programs that claim to provide brand-safe and malware-free ads for publishers.

The truth is that you have to have an ad quality solution of some kind. Without one, you’re vulnerable to malvertising and harm to your brand, both of which threaten your revenue. But which solution is right for you? Should you build one with existing third-party software or buy a comprehensive ad quality solution? That’s the question we answer below. Read on.

Playwire knows the day-to-day struggles today’s digital publishers face. That’s why we have created comprehensive, done-for-you solutions that cover everything from ad quality and malvertising to programmatic and header bidding. Contact us to learn more.

Building a Tailored Malvertising Solution

The first thing to understand is that ad quality platforms tend to specialize in different kinds of ad quality problems. Some are experts at preventing malvertising; others focus on brand safety. It’s for this reason that many publishers who set out to implement an ad quality solution end up paying for more than one program. Otherwise, you may not be fully protected from ad quality problems.

If you have more specific needs, such as particular restrictions on advertising based on organizational beliefs or preferences, you may need to get quite granular with the ad quality solution you piece together — that, or go with a full-service ad quality provider like Playwire.

Fighting Malvertising Requires a Human Touch

It’s relatively easy to prevent some ad quality problems with an automated program, but it’s nearly impossible to prevent all of them. In fact, no platform has done it with automated systems alone. 

In other words, if you want the highest standards in ad quality, you will need a human touch. Unfortunately, incredibly few ad quality platforms include human reviewers who will get on the phone with advertisers to address ad quality problems or even shut offending advertisers down when necessary. That means you may have to have your own team of people ready to do this — it’s a cost of doing business as a digital publisher, and one that few publishers can reasonably afford.

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Remember the Ad Blockers

As you’re building an ad quality and malvertising solution, don’t forget the ad blockers. In 2020, 47% of surveyed internet users in the United States said they used an ad blocking program on their computers. This is not an issue you can afford to ignore.

What is the issue, exactly? When people with ad blockers show up on your site, you don’t get any ad revenue. But you can address this issue with your ad quality solution. By implementing ad tech that includes ad block mitigation, you can serve high-quality ads that meet ad blockers’ standards. In other words, you can play their game and still make some money.

It’s not that other ads are unacceptable; it’s just that ad blockers have developed a highly stringent set of standards for ads that they deem unintrusive or reasonable to show to their users. To get around this, you need ad block mitigation tech on your site that operates in tandem with your regular programmatic systems. The ad block mitigation solution needs to quickly assess whether a user has an ad blocker in place and put a stop to the typical ad serving process to place an acceptable ad in front of the user.

If that sounds kind of difficult to you, you’re right. It’s complicated, and very few ad quality solutions do it for you.

The Alternative: Comprehensive Ad Quality Management

To sum up what we’ve covered so far, there are several moving parts to preventing malvertising and promoting ad quality while protecting your revenue. Some platforms claim to cover a few of these issues, but few can truthfully say they cover all of them.

Playwire is one of those few, although we separate ourselves from the other ad quality solutions because we take care of everything for you instead of simply providing you the means to do it yourself. Here’s what we do to keep your ad quality at the highest possible level at all times:

  • Automatically block malvertising
  • Monitor for and correct brand safety issues
  • Employ a team of human reviewers who will shut down harmful advertisers and contact problematic ones
  • Work with ad blocker mitigation solutions to implement them in our scripts on your site
  • Maintain a global direct sales team to allow more of your revenue to come from direct sources, which suffer much less from the threat of malvertising and other ad quality problems

To be clear, we accomplish all of that by integrating an enormous number of partners that each attack the problem in different but essential ways. We set everything up and maintain all integrations, then offer the comprehensive package to publishers as a solution. That means publishers aren’t having to set up and pay for each tool, which can become prohibitively expensive.

Playwire: Ad Quality and Malvertising Solutions, Perfected

You can build your own ad quality and malvertising solution. Will it be perfect? Almost certainly not. But you deserve a perfect solution. And that’s exactly what Playwire has to offer. Our ad quality solution is perfect for publishers like you because we cover all the bases: malvertising, brand safety, direct sales, ad block mitigation and human management. We do all of that, you worry with none of it and your revenue is safe and sound.

That’s one part of our revenue amplification platform for publishers, and it’s an important one. To learn more about our ad quality solutions and other revenue-boosting activities, reach out to Playwire today. Just contact our team online.

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