“What I would like to see from the ad tech community is more self-regulation,” Anderson said.
Because Google spans both the buy side and the sell side, publishers know whom to contact when they see a bad ad. But publishers often don’t have the same luck when working with other supply-side platforms (SSPs).
“The bad actors aren’t sneaking through the SSPs, they are sneaking through the DSPs,” Anderson said. “We can see it in the wild, we can catch it. But it becomes a game of telephone where we deliver the message to the SSPs who have to talk to the DSPs.”
And those DSPs, struggling to maintain market share against the duopoly, aren’t incentivized to cut off paying customers, even ones creating bad ads.
“Google doesn’t have to worry about losing revenue when it tells people to play by their rules,” Anderson said. “They get to push the market around.”
OpenX, ranked top in inventory quality by Pixalate, said the massive scale of programmatic advertising means bad ads also occur on a massive scale.
“Even an ad quality accuracy rate of 99.99% still results in 100,000 ad quality incidents,” said John Murphy, VP of marketplace quality at OpenX. “There is massive transaction volume in programmatic advertising and a very low tolerance for error by publishers.”