Leading Operations Online

Today (May 17), the IAB Tech Lab rolled out a new method for combating ad fraud, specifically of the domain-spoofing variety. It’s called Ads.txt, which stands for Authorized Digital Sellers, or at least it is if you really need to turn the word “ads” into an acronym in this industry.

On paper, Ads.txt is really straightforward. It’s a text file the publisher’s webmaster posts to the publisher domain. In that file is a list of authorized sellers (exchanges or SSPs) the publisher deals with. Buyers can then crawl the web for those lists, and create filters to assure they transact with those exchanges who are authorized to sell the publisher’s inventory. The seller’s ID listed in the bid request will match the authorized seller in the ads.txt file.

The most obvious goal here is to eliminate domain spoofing. To date, when buyers try to avoid buying on counterfeit sites, fraudsters that register domains misrepresenting them as legit premium sites, their methods have typically been...

The prominence of revenue operations as a critical function within the digital media world has had its ups and downs.

While programmatic and other indirect channels have proven ops as a serious revenue center, it’s also forced the department into highly unfamiliar territory such as creative development and user experience. And this more prominent role attracts the interest of other groups across the organization such as legal, IT/security and privacy/risk.

AdMonsters has long noted that ops professionals are the gatekeepers at digital publishers when it comes to advertising—nothing gets on the page without their (sometimes forced) approval. However, the the digital advertising industry is at a unique intersection: publishers’ revenue teams are eager to try any and every monetization resource as traditional digital revenue streams wane; however, creative has also never had such a high potential to be annoying, intrusive, alienating,...

On the East Coast, the lack of sunny skies and warmer temps make it hard to tell spring has arrived. One unmistakable sign, however, is our continuous stream of new speaker announcements for Ops. Can anyone else think of a better way to announce the beginning of a season than a conference about digital advertising?

You might have answered in the negative to that question, but I know for the past eight years my year has been split between pre-Ops and post-Ops. It’s a big deal for us at AdMonsters to pull off Ops, and it seems each year we add a new level of complexity to pull the event off. Nope, we’re not masochists (Ed.: Speak for yourself); it’s just part of our culture. Every year, ad operations is expected to up its game, and so we ourselves feel the expectation to do the same.

I decided today to look back at the first Ops and see what’s changed and what’s the same. Here are some of my observations:

Ops has grown in every conceivable fashion. The original Ops clocked in with 13 sessions...

Malware is a blanket term that applies to any software planted on the user’s device with malicious intent. It’s come a long way from that old bogeyman of the rogue hacker launching “gotcha!” viruses, which captured the public imagination in the ‘90s. Now it’s a very different bogeyman, and malware is big business for criminal elements internationally.

Malware is a problem for ad ops, because an ad slot presents a juicy opportunity for bad actors to deliver malicious code directly to the user—they’ll just slip the code into the creative of an ad. Bad actors can rely on the white noise of the ad exchanges to slip through, masquerading as a totally legit buyer. But the programmatic market isn’t the only point of entry—malware can ride in on the tails of a direct campaign, too.

A lot of the time, folks will talk about malware as if it’s a problem for programmatic and for long-tail publishers. But in reality, no one is immune, and bad actors target premium publishers just the same. Malware developers move quickly and deftly. They’ll...

It's becoming more common to hear industry folks suggest that blockchain holds certain keys for tightening up security in the ad ecosystem--providing verification and reducing fraudulent bot activity. Regardless, it's still common for other media types to respond, with at least a whiff of doubt, "What's blockchain gotta do with me?" In fact, that response is exactly what we named the blockchain-centered session Ken G. Brook III, co-founder and CEO of MetaX (pictured at left), is leading at Ops in New York on June 6.

Blockchain has long been thought of as "that Bitcoin thing," which is where it got its start. Blockchain was and is used as the common ledger for logging Bitcoin transactions. But some folks have...

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