In his interview with AdExchanger last month, O'Kelley said, "We do our best when we find [fraud] to rip out those impressions and credit everybody and do the right thing."
Some readers of that interview pushed back against that claim, saying they had identified fraudulent impressions, but rather than give direct credit, AppNexus referred them to the publisher that floated the contested ad space on AppNexus' platform. In these cases, the onus was on the buyers to lay claim to wasted dollars.
O'Kelley did not deny that this had happened, but he said the company is progressing toward a fix.
"Today it's a mess," he said. "Some of the buyers bill off ad server numbers, not our numbers, and that's where the rebate comes in. There's no agreed-upon currency. We've been working on this for nine months. The reason it has taken so long is the logistics are kind of crazy."
As the company gets up and running with its Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify, most payments for fraudulent ads should never happen to begin with, obviating the need for a refund, O'Kelley said. But he promised that when and if the fail-safe fails, AppNexus will issue credits.