Neutrality is Key to Third-Party Audits and Validation
mFilterIt proactively gave up a million-dollar opportunity 4 years back to uphold the integrity and neutrality of validating ad-spends.
Any ad fraud detection & prevention solution is algorithmic in nature. So even if the results are statistically driven and scientifically proven, the biases can be absorbed within the algorithm design. The simplest example could be white-listing traffic of a particular publisher or ad network making it a valid high-quality engagement source.
Tracing back the journey of mFilterIt, it also started with the idea of establishing an ad network (mXpresso), which would offer ad fraud detection as a value addition. But soon it was realized that it’s fundamentally contradictory to act as both – someone to spend for campaigns (ad-network), and someone doing the validation of whether it has been done rightfully (ad-fraud).
Like any ad network, mXpresso was blossoming and as goes the very nature of this business, the growth parameters were overwhelmingly encouraging. This only indicated that it was going to be soon a million-dollar opportunity.
It was a very difficult trade-off to give up a growing opportunity versus creating something which would face resistance from all corners. Obviously, both could not continue. To uphold the integrity and bring neutrality and impartiality invalidating the ad-spends on performance campaigns, mXpresso was shelved for eternity and mFilterIt, which was an add-on to the ad-network became the anchor and only offering.
Presently in the market majority of the widely used ad-fraud detection solutions do not give a 3rd party view. They are part of the 2nd party in form of either being an add-on to the attribution platform and with some recent acquisition, even an ad-network.
This raises the fundamental question of how anyone can do both very important roles without diluting the conflict of interest. The same party, in its dual role, is responsible for the spending and then again responsible for validating if the spending did take place in the right way, giving the desired ROI.
Ad fraud cannot be combated alone algorithmically. The neutrality and 3rd party orientation are as important as the efficacy of the tool which is determined by how deep a view it can offer basis the advanced algorithms used in its designing. This is what mFilterIt has always stood for and shall continue to have this equally distanced approach from everyone in the value chain – advertisers, agencies, and affiliates. It envisioned this 4 years back, which is why it today is trusted by some of the leading digital advertisers globally for auditing their ad spending on performance campaigns and adjacent issues.