Audits differentiate quality digital publishers.
Digital advertising fraud is a multibillion-dollar global problem that affects everyone. In today’s programmatic environment, it's hard to differentiate quality publishers with human audiences from all others, making it challenging for media buyers to determine which sites are safe for their investment. Marketers waste money, and publishers lose revenue.
Digital Publisher Audits are part of a complementary set of industry assurance solutions supported by the Association of National Advertisers. The AAM Digital Publisher Audit addresses assurance at the publisher level by analyzing website traffic and the publisher’s adherence to best business practices. After the initial audit is complete, traffic is continuously monitored and baseline variances are mitigated if necessary.
Publisher transparency is key in gaining media buyers' trust. Third-party audits help quality publishers stand out and improve outcomes for marketers.
DIGITAL PUBLISHER AUDIT PROCESS
How a Digital Publisher Audit works.
The audit is a holistic solution conducted at the publisher level and includes:
AAM works with the publisher to introduce the audit process, receive access to web analytics and help set up site tagging.
Business Process Review
Auditors collect general site information and perform an in-depth review of the publisher’s business practices to understand how the site is monetized and assess the level of risk. This process shapes the audit.
AAM verifies the accuracy of third-party metrics by checking proper implementation, monitoring traffic levels and filtered traffic, and continuously measuring website activity.
AAM performs 14 multi-point audit analyses to validate that business practices are working properly to deliver a high-quality audience by monitoring human/bot audience composition and evaluating the quality of sourced traffic.
Once the audit is complete, the publisher’s website is included on the AAM Audited Domain List, in AAM’s Media Intelligence Center and the IAB Tech Lab Compliance Registry. Publishers can promote the audit by including the AAM audited logo on their website, media kit and sales materials.
After the initial audit is complete, AAM continues to monitor site traffic for baseline variances and mitigate issues, as necessary.
Stand out as an audited publisher.
Audited domains are activated throughout the digital media buying ecosystem in several ways. Publishers that successfully complete the audit are:
- Included on the AAM Audited Domain List, which marketers use to build inclusion lists and prioritize publishers in DSPs.
- Featured in AAM’s Media Intelligence Center, a platform accessed by thousands of media professionals each year.
- Included in the IAB Tech Lab Compliance Registry, a free online resource listing companies that have successfully completed select industry compliance programs.
A SAMPLE OF AAM DIGITAL PUBLISHER AUDIT CLIENTS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Review answers to some common questions.
While there are many digital ad fraud measurement solutions in the marketplace, a critical foundational audit at the publisher level has not existed until now. Without publisher audits, it is difficult for marketers to distinguish legitimate publishers from fraudulent sites. Just as in other forms of media, publisher audits are a necessary layer of assurance in the fight against ad fraud.
AAM collaborated with the Media Rating Council and the Trustworthy Accountability Group to align their anti-fraud programs to create a complementary set of assurance solutions, supported by the Association of National Advertisers. The AAM audit requires large publishers to use MRC-accredited technology vendors that are compliant with the MRC’s IVT Guidelines. Publishers that successfully complete the AAM audit may also earn complimentary independent validation for TAG’s Certified Against Fraud program.
The Digital Assurance Acceleration Program currently offers Digital Publisher Audits at no charge to AAM publisher clients for the first year to quickly grow the universe of audited media inventory. This program gives publishers a way to stand out as quality media partners and increase marketers’ assurance digital media buying. Contact us to learn more about the program and how to participate.
The audit begins with an in-depth business process review to understand how a publisher monetizes their site. AAM verifies the accuracy of third-party metrics by checking proper implementation, traffic filtering, and continuously measuring website activity. AAM also performs 14 multi-point audit analyses to validate that business practices are working properly to deliver a high-quality audience. Once the initial audit is complete, traffic is monitored continuously and issues are mitigated, as necessary.
The initial audit takes approximately 90 days to complete. Afterward, your website will be continuously monitored to compare current traffic with established baselines and identify anomalies.
The AAM Digital Publisher Audit helps quality publishers stand out to media buyers from less credible websites that offer advertising. This allows marketers to redirect ad dollars from risky sites to quality sites, which in turn helps quality publishers earn more ad revenue. Audited publishers are listed in the AAM Audited Domain List, which is used by media buyers to create allow lists and prioritize audited sites in DSPs, and are included in the IAB Tech Lab Compliance Registry.
The AAM Digital Publisher Audit sets quality publishers apart and lets media buyers know that an audited publisher is worth their investment. Publishers can promote the audit by displaying the AAM Digital Publisher Audit logo on their website, sales collateral and media kit. Discuss the audit with your clients and explain why your company is taking additional steps to provide them with greater transparency and how investing in quality media provides them with better marketing outcomes.
The AAM Digital Publisher Audit is a major step toward providing assurances at the publisher level.
Through third-party audits, buyers can differentiate quality sites, analyze traffic and clearly see the difference between audited publishers and those who are running fraudulent sites.
AAM’s independent validation of our digital audience reinforces our commitment to transparency and integrity in everything we do.
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