There is a debate in the ad world right now about the danger of “made for advertising” websites but it seems that not everyone is clear on what constitutes an MFA—there is even disagreement over whether they are all that bad for brands.
The Association of National Advertisers has been shining a light on “made for advertising” sites, or MFAs, issuing a study in June claiming that at least $13 billion of the $88 billion programmatic ad market was going to what it deemed spammy, clickbait or low-quality sites. In other words, MFAs siphoned money from what the ANA would consider more worthy publishers, those more deserving of top brand dollars.
The trade group’s report, peaking into darker corners of the web, set off alarm bells among ad agencies and brands. Parts of the industry, including third-party viewability firms and supply-side ad platforms, began hunting for these thousands of “made for advertising” sites, promising to help cut them from the supply chain.
There are still a few wrinkles to iron out, however, as different stakeholders have varying takes on what is, and what is not, an MFA. Ad Fontes Media, for instance, manually rates websites in search of the spammiest ones, to help advertisers block them from programmatic ad buys. “MFAs monetize, strongly, some of the worst content on the internet,” said Vanessa Otero, founder and CEO of Ad Fontes Media.
More: Yahoo free of made-for-advertising inventory, audit finds