Can Blockchain Save Programmatic From Itself?

Blockchain is poised to disrupt nearly every industry - and digital advertising is no different.

Fraud has long been a component of all advertising but with the speed at which programmatic networks enable advertisers and publishers to buy and sell traffic, the problem is (or can be) greatly amplified. 

Fortunately, blockchain provides a near perfect (as far as anyone can tell) opportunity to put an end to fraud in the digital landscape for good.

Fortunately, blockchain has the backing of almost every buyer of digital advertising - and not just the small shops who stand to risk the most from dealing in fraudulent traffic and impressions.

Dentsu Aigis Network, has launched a new consortium called "Adschain Consortium": that uses blockchain tech to fight ad fraud in the programmatic supply chain - precisely where the most rogue of are hiding out.

The holding network is is representing in the consortium by iProspect, joining consultancy firm, Mondadori MediaConnect and adtech platforms Smart and S4M. The consortium aims to address the problem of the abundance of intermediaries (middle-men) in the programmatic supply chain. The consortium hopes to use blockchain to bring additional security to the process of buying and selling ads in real time by bringing transparency to those intermediary actors.

Advertisers will declare a list of authorized buyers and publishers can do the same for a list of authorized resellers. All authorized agents can then automate reference to the open ledger to validate the legitimacy of the "contract" before any actual transaction occurs.

The digital advertising world is no stranger to the use of blockchain and adoption has increased rather rapidly over the past few years. The world biggest advertising agency WPP, for example, has a similar blockchain consortium called 'Project Proton',  which is led by Mindshare and consists of MediaMath, Integral Ad Science and Rubicon Project.