What are creative audits and incremental clicks?
Programmatic advertising grew to nearly 84% of all digital display advertising, totaling roughly $57 billion annually, according to eMarketer. As more advertisers enter the marketplace, unfortunately, so does more fraud. It’s our mission to avoid fraudulent clicks and advertisers. To do so, we utilize top-tier, quality inventory, and publisher networks with a large portion serving to the Demand Side Platform (DSP) . To protect their publishers, DSPs layer on 3rd party verification systems and software to prevent fraudulent advertising from placing malware on their publisher sites and consumer devices. This verification is part of the creative audit process. It ensures that the ads we send do not display anything prohibited and that they do not have any malicious software associated with them that could harm the publisher's websites or users who view the ads. As long as the creatives are active in our TTD creative library, they will continually undergo creative audits and verifications.
Most of this auditing takes place before the campaign is set live. However, there are supply vendors and creative verifiers that test when a campaign is live to ensure all rules are being followed. This may lead to incremental clicks on Day 1 of the campaign or whenever new creatives are added. This is because some of these vendors will take an actual live bid request we send to verify that we are in compliance. Unfortunately, we cannot tell who is a creative verifier or supply vendor auditing campaigns versus who is in our target audience when they use a live bid request.
The DSP does filter out any of the impressions and clicks that they send to The Media Trust, but they are not able to filter anything else out without running the risk of removing actual impressions and clicks intended for your target audience. This can cause our reporting to appear inflated on the first day a new creative is implemented.
Our team is sensitive to the concern this may create among your advertisers. While we cannot filter out those clicks, we will ensure that any incremental clicks do not count toward our CTR guarantee of 0.1%. We are dedicated to being as transparent as possible about the ever-changing programmatic landscape and ensuring that we deliver ads to the highest-quality audience in the safest and most reputable environment possible.
If you ever have concerns about these incremental clicks and why ads go through this type of audit, don't hesitate to get in touch with your Account Manager.