Efforts like TAG require some commitment, but vastly more resources go into internal anti-fraud efforts.
“The competitive aspect means there isn’t much collaboration,” said John Murphy, OpenX’s VP of marketplace quality.
OpenX, AppNexus and Rubicon Project are all members of the TAG leadership council, but outside of that boardroom the market prevails. “We’ve spent a lot of time and money building these systems that our competitors do not have,” said Murphy.
Great anti-fraud tech means cleaner inventory and, as O’Kelley said, “Inventory quality is a differentiator we see for our platform in the market.”
Consequently, despite a desire to share knowledge and solutions, competitive concerns have been insurmountable. To the extent that companies communicate around fraud, it’s usually a one-on-one. “There are a growing number of us that have private phone calls,” said Sam Cox, MediaMath VP of global partnerships.
“It’s very clearly not a sustainable solution,” he said, “but until you can guarantee safety to companies that are open and the industry actually has a definition of fraud, you open yourself up to too much liability.”
The companies involved would hypothetically be revealing damning or competitive data about fraud on their platforms. Cox also said taking a combative approach would inevitably lead to publishers and media companies being punished for being the innocent victims of fraudsters – as happens now on a daily basis, but in a far less consequential way since it’s settled discreetly.
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