2/3 of websites with malicious creatives are legitimate sites that have been unknowingly compromised. And the toll of ad fraud soared to $16.4 billion in 2017. 


Ad quality is vital for a healthy programmatic ecosystem. At PubMatic, we understand the risks associated with poor ad quality and are committed to keeping you safe. We have a team who believes very strongly that a clean ecosystem benefits everyone, and we take a vigorous approach to eliminating ad fraud. We pioneer the latest tools, services partnerships and standards available in the marketplace to root out ad fraud.


We wanted to give you a “look under the hood” to see a few ways how we have been safeguarding against ad fraud, specifically in-banner videos (IBVs) and malicious creatives in February 2018.


PubMatic’s Real-Time Ad Scanning (RTAS) suite of tools applies both proprietary and third-party technology to provide protection for desktop, mobile, and video ads while addressing quality and security issues. Our ad scanning technology can screen every ad in the bid stream and make automated judgments on thousands of creatives every day spanning thousands of advertisers, immediately spotting and blocking contentious creatives at the source.


RTAS dives much deeper to root out IBVs and malicious creatives that publishers would have otherwise missed. As you’ll see in the table below, RTAS caught and automatically blocked 188,098 IBVs and 92,614 malicious creatives in February 2018.


(Note: PubMatic numbers refer to the total count of unique creatives newly categorized and do not capture the total number of blocks associated with each unique creative, nor does it capture the total number of malicious creatives identified and continuously blocked in our platform. These malicious creatives are identified through a combination of PubMatic’s RTAS, The Media Trust scans, and Confiant scans. All malware creatives are automatically blocked across the PubMatic platform once identified.)



Ad fraudsters are wily in their ways, coming up with new malicious creatives each and every day. Thankfully, RTAS stays one step ahead in monitoring the latest trends in ad fraud. Fraudsters concocted 92,352 new types of malicious creatives in February 2018.

RTAS revealed ad fraudsters were more creative in devising new malicious creatives in the first half of February (.58% weekly average) before tailing off with a .4% weekly average in the second half of February. Luckily for our publishers, PubMatic identified these creatives before they were served, and blocks them across our publisher base, should they come through again.

In sum, PubMatic has a zero tolerance policy towards fraud on our platform. We protect our customers’ trust by maintaining a clean platform with the highest ad quality and brand safety standards.


We hope you enjoyed this report around some of PubMatic’s Ad Quality efforts. Coming in April, we are excited to unveil our inaugural Sell-Side newsletter providing a monthly round-up of PubMatic’s industry initiatives and product enhancements to help publishers, brands, and agencies alike. Please be aware the Sell-Side newsletter will house this Ad Quality monthly report moving forward.


If you have any questions about the Ad Quality reports, methodology, or upcoming Sell-Side newsletter please reach out to Karl Moats, Director, Product Marketing.

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