Publisher side measures?


Malvertising is definitely an important topic for us when it comes to monetisation. It’s one of the main triggers for users to install an ad blocker and I really can’t blame them.

We are doing all we can to keep our site clear from redirects, inappropriate content, auto-play with audio, CPU hogging ads, etc, etc. But this is a pretty tough job because we’re using several networks (through Prebid) and users aren’t always able to tell what exact creative caused an issue.

Because of that we’re thinking about building an ad reporting system. The current plan is to save the last couple of rendered creatives through the browsers LocalStorage. If a user clicks ‘report ads’ at the bottom of the page they can describe the problem, see the data that is going to be sent and submit the problem report.

This way it should be MUCH easier for us to act on malicious ads. We’ll know instantly what network is to blame which makes is trivial to block the ad or the entire network.

When we have all this going we could even incorporate a blacklist of creatives in our header bidding which would enable us to block specific creatives in the browser without relying on the networks to block them at the source.

But first the basics. I can’t imaging that we are the first publisher to think/dream up such a solution. Actually does something similar to this but they charge a very hefty fee for this and I would very much like a more open source like solution for something like this.

Does something like this exists? Why not? Anyone interested in helping with building a system like this?


I think this is an excellent idea @BartVB. You are right, this concept has actually been done quite successfully by PubNation, but they are no longer offering this product. Unfortunately, this solution likely will not solve the problem of capturing redirects on behalf of readers since it takes them away from your site and the reader likely won’t know which ad the redirect came through. We are working on some related tools here at Sovrn and I would like to hop on a call with you if you have some time. I’m a Product Manger here and have been focused on Ad & Traffic Quality efforts for many years now. Would you like to chat?


Hmm, too bad that PubNation stopped offering this service. Curious to know why?

IMO this would also enable publishers and networks to better track down redirects. In fact, redirects are my main motivation to be serious about building a system like this. It’s almost impossible to get usable data about a redirect ad from users, it’s extremely hard to reproduce them and then it’s still some work to actually capture the originating creative.

A reporting system like this would make that much easier. It would save the creative that incorporates the redirect before this creative is rendered. It won’t prevent the ad from appearing and people will need to go back to my site to report, but when they do it’s trivial to send the offending creative to me.

One of the nice extras that PubNation offers (eeh, offered) is that they also automated reporting to the networks. That would also be quite an improvement, but one step at a time.

Sure, I’m available for a call, contact me to plan something. But would also be interesting to have that conversation here and see if others can chip in.

Have a great weekend!


My concern about tracking redirects in this manner is that most publishers have more than one ad on the page and correctly identifying which ad caused the mobile redirect might be difficult for the user. If there are five ads on the page, you only have a 20% chance of the reader accurately reporting which ad redirected them.

I’ll follow up via email to setup a call. Happy Friday!


confiant does something like this, but they use some sort of auto detection, no user interaction requried. (but they charge numbers only big/huge publishers can afford, according to some stories I heard, they detect around 80% of the redirects)

monkeybroker which once was an adserver and now is a managed demand source, has a reporting feature, like you are talking about. Every ad has a small “report ad” button which sends a network request report (or something like this). They are including prev. page views (as far as I know) so that redirect ads can be reported, too.

Unfortunately I do not know the details on how these work. Just wanted to leave the word, that some solutions (which are far far from perfect, exists) but are expensive/only available to huge publishers.