"We're being very very conservative," Vindico president Matt
Timothy told Ad Age in a recent interview. "There's this growth by
fear kind of operating philosophy that exists now, and that's not
what we want to do."
"Could it be higher than 11%?" he said. "Absolutely."
The 11% figure is based off a sample of 8 billion impressions
monitored by Adtricity, Vindico's traffic quality product, in the
first quarter of 2014. In that time span, Vindico served a total of
12 billion video impressions.
Vindico's technology sniffs out bots by identifying abnormal
traffic patterns and activity. One dead giveaway, Mr. Timothy said,
is when a domain's traffic spikes to thousands of impressions per
minute. "That would be one sign of trouble," he said. "Certainly
there are more but they're always adapting."
When asked whether Vindico should stop every bot impressions it
sees, Mr. Timothy said the company is currently speaking with its
clients about how to approach the situation. "What we're working
with our advertisers on now is when to block, what to block and
what the economics are around blocking."
Blocking all suspected bot traffic, in other words, isn't as simple
as it may sound. "In the early stages it creates a lot of issues,"
Mr. Timothy said. "These are usually way down the chain, and aren't
necessarily done by the big premium publishers. These are most
likely ad networks and exchanges and it's been sold and resold
three or four times and the original seller doesn't even realize
sometimes where this is occurring."
"If you just slapped blocking across everything, you could end
up doing more harm than good," he said.
Vindico doesn't refund ads served to bots since it's serving
advertisers by helping them figure out where the bots are coming
from, Mr. Timothy said. "We don't select the inventory. We don't
buy the inventory for them. We don't own inventory," he said. "It's
up to the advertisers to say 'I want to block this.' That's not up
The industry is taking the problem more seriously, Mr. Timothy
said. "The money has become more material in the space," he said.
"Now someone can get fired for not doing things the right way.
People are starting to really pay attention to it, and to the
Buyers, he explained were a bit complicit in the rise of fraud,
promised high quality inventory for bargain prices. But now, he
said, things have changed: "That's harder and harder to