Harmelin Digital Contributors: Corey Buller, Brad Bernard, Janine Cross & Scott Davis
Harmelin Media’s ad fraud prevention initiative has significantly outperformed the standard results in a recent ANA Fraud in Digital Advertising study, conducted by WhiteOps. Harmelin’s efforts have saved its clients over $10 million through combating fraud and filtering out traffic from bots. In 2014, Harmelin released an overarching strategy to fight fraud within client campaigns. Partnering with comScore and its Validated Campaign Essentials product and arming its digital media buyers with analysis techniques and processes, Harmelin is keeping its commitment to buying clean impressions while maintaining cost efficiencies and performance.
Harmelin’s first line of defense was setting strict fraud rate thresholds, which were communicated to all current and potential partners. Setting a high bar established how committed Harmelin was to buying brand-safe, premium inventory for its clients. Harmelin employed a variety of prevention and detection tactics, having already implemented most of the ANA’s recommended best practices, including:
- Educating and training buyers in fraud detection and recovery methods through the use of third-party fraud monitoring technology
- Insertion order fraud language outlining expectations and consequences
- Inventory transparency mandate
- Announcing internal policies to all partners
The average fraud rate among the 49 advertisers that participated in the ANA industry study was 20%, resulting in estimated losses of $250,000 to $45,000,000 per individual advertiser. Through Harmelin’s strict standards, the agency was able to hold its average fraud rate below 4%, resulting in an estimated savings of $10,000,000 for the agency’s 100+ clients. Harmelin will begin vetting the Trustworthy Accountability Group’s (TAG) certified anti-piracy partner list for preferred vendors committed to providing bot-free, brand-safe impressions to enhance internal best practices. TAG is a program developed by the 4A’s, ANA, and IAB to combat fraud and internet piracy.
Brad Bernard, Vice President of Digital Innovation at Harmelin Media, has been a big proponent of the fraud fighting movement. “One of the most important issues of the digital industry today is the integrity of the impression. At Harmelin, this is a foundational principle when we activate campaigns on behalf of our clients. If agencies and marketers do not take this seriously, then they are inviting fraud and wasting money.”
ComScore has supported Harmelin in their effort from the very beginning: “We know that advertising can only have an impact if it’s seen by an actual person. Harmelin has been committed to delivering on this promise to clients through their use of comScore vCE to validate their digital campaigns,” said John Bulgrin, Director at comScore.
Harmelin Media is committed to fighting digital advertising fraud. As digital advertising fraud evolves, Harmelin will continue to be on the cutting edge of fraud prevention, detection, and recovery through research and review of new technologies, methods for committing fraud, and championing industry standards and best practices.