This week Telefonica Tech said that the Adwatch advertising monitoring solution will integrate TrustOS, the Telefonica blockchain certification tool. The aim is to evolve Adwatch metrics into irrefutable evidence ‘that can be used in court’.
Digital ad fraud is a huge problem. Juniper Research estimated that it would result in losses of $68 billion in 2022, with $23 billion of that in the United States. Whether its bots faking the ad views or click spamming, the problem is pervasive. Adwatch reckons its solution saves 20% of ad spend.
Several major agencies – Dentsu, Havas, Interpublic and Mindshare – are already using Adwatch alongside significant brands such as Coca Cola, Unilever, IBM and P&G.
In the same way that blockchain can provide traceability for physical goods, it’s even easier to enable traceability for digital services such as digital advertising. Audience metrics are recorded on the blockchain providing evidence of the ad delivery and also helping advertisers to learn more about their viewers.
When advertisers use the blockchain powered solution it “will allow them to make smarter decisions about the application of their advertising budget,” said Marta Belmonte, head of new products for digital advertising at Telefónica Tech. “The integration of our TrustOS solution with Adwatch technology demonstrates how Blockchain solves real problems in business relationships, such as ad fraud.”
The potential for blockchain to address advertising fraud has been around for years. During that time, several blockchain initiatives have come and gone or pivoted. But one or two have persisted.
For example, JICWebs in the UK merged with TAG, which provides a blockchain ad fraud solution that last year attracted investment from the UK government, InnovateUK. In Singapore, Aqilliz started with an ad fraud solution but is now more focused on audience intelligence.
One of the challenges could be the astonishing lack of enthusiasm to address the ad fraud challenge, despite its massive costs.