Trust and Transparency


If you haven’t already, Gavin from AdMonsters recently posted an article about the need for transparency from all players in the programmatic industry (and he interviews Walter, our CEO for his opinion).

How many of you think transparency is an issue?
How many would certify your sites to help buyers qualify clean sites to advertise on?


I would do that if it meant I would get popup free ads.


It all depends on what the certification process looks like and how much it costs. If this certification process is particularly technical or costly it will force out smaller publishers. This is good or bad depending on your perspective.

Increasing the barrier to entry means that only those with the finances already in place and the ability to execute a technical audit will be able to access these larger, and likely higher eCPM, advertisers. For those publishers it would increase the ad quality, ad revenue, and lower malware, etc. Publishers will also need tools to fight bad or low quality traffic on their end. If the tools come to market it’s a win-win-win for those with the resources.

Unfortunately it’s probably bad for those publishers just starting out. They’ll have to contend with lower eCPMs, more malware, and an overall worse experience for their users. This makes gaining traction more difficult for them.


Hi Chris-
Good points and very well thought out. I agree that the larger publishers would be able to more easily obtain certification if the certification involves significant monetary investment. For the publishers who are starting out, yes, this would be hard to obtain and malware targeting may as a result overload their pages. One option would be for the ad partners they work with to pay for their certification - thus cleaning up the ads on both sides of the supply/demand chain.


Again, I think that solution would also work to the disadvantage of smaller publishers. Would an ad network be willing to spend $500, $1000, or $10,000 (when I previously poked around on the TAG website the lowest price I saw for any level of participation was $10k) in order to test a new publisher with an untrusted/unverified history?


Yes, TAG is not affordable for budding to mid-level publishers. I think ad partners would have to internally certify publishers they work with - to ensure the ads they are serving are clean and the sites they are serving to are clean. It would be nice if DSP’s would also clean their pipes but we haven’t seen much motivation on that end.


It’s a process that I would be willing to go through, and pay for, in order to have everyone in the supply and demand chain make sure that we’re all dealing with quality publishers, networks, advertisers, and ads.