Direct Isn't Fraud Immune; Google Play Malware

whiteopsfraudDirect’s Not Fraud-Free

White Ops President Eddie Schwartz says fraud concerns persist within automation of direct buys. While advertisers tend to trust that direct deals are less riddled by fraud, Schwartz says that’s not always the case. “We were surprised that programmatic-direct ad buys contained bot traffic, since direct buys should normally show low bot percentages,” Schwartz said, referencing White Ops’ year-end fraud investigation. “We also were surprised that adware was so damaging to some high-volume video campaigns.” Investors Business Daily has more.

Google Play Malware

Speaking of malware, a report from security firm Avast surfaced a new form of malware infecting Android phones via apps from the Google Play store. Once the malware is installed, it displays ads in the form of warning messages. But this type of malware is particularly difficult to detect, TechCrunch reports, as ads don’t begin to appear until the device is restarted or, in some cases, weeks later. Meanwhile, Google’s director of ads engineering, Vikaram Gupta, pens a blog post detailing how the tech giant is working to combat “bad ads.”

Neustar’s Growing Marketing Services

Neustar’s marketing services business is humming along. Read the press release. The company reported Q4 2014 revenue for that division at $41.7 million, a YoY increase of 8%, and FY 2014 revenue at $147 million, a 17% increase. Neustar has invested heavily in its marketing services business, though it constitutes only about 15% of the company’s total 2014 revenue of $964 million. The biggest issue Neustar faces is the potential loss of a major contract responsible for just under half ($475 million) of the company’s total revenue. Of this contract’s renewal – the terms of which are up June 30 – Neustar CEO Lisa Hook said, “We’re in waiting mode, as we have been for the past several months.”

Mobile Is Programmatic First

Dstillery VP of analytics Lauren Moores thinks mobile is well positioned to capitalize on automation. “Marketers who work with mobile are using it through programmatic means primarily because it came along after the reticence for programmatic on the desktop side,” she told Street Fight. “If you aren’t using programmatic in any way, you are missing out on the data science and behavior implicit in what programmatic can bring to the table.” But mobile measurement remains problematic, she added, due to fragmentation and an industrywide overreliance on last-click attribution.

Orabrush Debuts Molio

Dental hygiene brand Orabrush is spinning off a video marketing company dubbed Molio, backed by $3 million in funding. “Molio was born out of our runaway success at Orabrush, where we built two multimillion-dollar brands exclusively on YouTube,” CEO Jeff Davis told AdExchanger. Molio will produce video creative in-house and use proprietary data to generate video variations tailored to different audience segments. “Molio then scales those hypertargeted campaigns by programmatically serving YouTube ads to the groups determined as most likely to watch the video and convert,” Davis added. Read the release.

PlaceIQ’s Shiny New Dashboard

Mobile ad targeting firm PlaceIQ surfaced an analytics dashboard on Tuesday that seeks to help “brands and agencies connect the physical and digital realms,” according to CEO Duncan McCall. The tool, Consumer Insights Platform, analyzes billions of location data points and market data to deliver insights on consumer intent. According to PlaceIQ, the tool “visualizes ad targeting and delivery, demographic and behavioral distinctions between exposed and converted audiences, and presents attribution and measurement for each line item.” MediaCom and Starcom MediaVest Group are among the agencies using the tool.

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