Toyota sees drop in ad fraud with blockchain-powered campaign

An initial advertising campaign for automotive manufacturer Toyota tracked by blockchain technology saw visits to the company’s website increase by 21% compared to similar campaigns.

Blockchain advertising analytics firm Lucidity, in a press release, announced its partnership with Toyota and ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi for the pilot campaign, which it said was the “final test” to show if a blockchain-powered online ad campaign could “deliver real results for real brands.”

Toyota National Marketing Communications Manager Nancy Inouye said, “Before today, there was no way to verify with confidence what’s happening behind the scenes in a programmatic buy. We’ve had our eyes on blockchain innovation for a long time, but didn’t have a workable blockchain solution until now.”

The campaign involved an analysis of data on clicks and impressions to find discrepancies, which according to online magazine Ad Age included domain spoofing and bot traffic. With this information, certain sites and apps associated with the discrepancies were blacklisted, and funding was diverted to better performing sites.

Saatchi & Saatchi Media Director Tom Scott said, “Even with high standards of anti-fraud and viewability filters already built in, Lucidity was able to deliver significant value-add by further optimizing the campaign. The ability to have access to a transparent, clean set of data from across the programmatic supply chain is game-changing. We’re empowered to take action, and this is the first time we’ve been able to use blockchain technology to eliminate waste and optimize our ad buy in this way.”

Lucidity Chief Operating Officer Nikao Yang said, “The reality is that programmatic supply chains don’t always behave as intended, and bad behavior comes into play. Our blockchain solution gives partners like Toyota deeper, log-level optics into their ad spend at every point in the supply chain to combat these challenges.”

Yang was quoted in the Ad Age article as saying that Lucidity’s technology allowed everyone in the supply chain a say as to whether an ad impression was valid. “We are not necessarily just looking for fraud. Lucidity exposes supply chain breakdowns… Lucidity allows marketers to optimize away from these breakdowns, which yields greater performance,” he said.

Inouye hinted at a continuation of campaigns with Lucidity in the future. “We are in discussions to take it to the next step and [test] further with additional campaigns for a longer period of time. We feel that if we go longer, we would see stronger results,” she said.

According to Lucidity, the automotive digital advertising industry was a $15-billion market this year in the U.S. alone.

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Google lifts ban on crypto ads for US, Japan regulated firms

Google has unbanned on cryptocurrency ads on its platform, with a view to working more closely with regulated institutions in the United States and Japan.

The decision marks a reversal of the ban initiated back in March, with the company at the time saying the move was designed to limit the harm, or the ‘potential for consumer harm’ posed by the sector. A senior executive at Google, Scott Spencer, was quoted at the time as saying the firm was taking pre-emptive action with the ads ban to protect consumers.

According to Spencer, “We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.”

However, the move was widely criticised, including amongst key voices in the financial sector.

Philip Nunn, CEO of Manchester investment company Blackmore Group, said the blanket ban was too heavy handed an approach, especially in light of other types of ads still running on Google’s ad platform.

“I understand that Facebook and Google are under a lot of pressure to regulate what their users are reading, but they are still advertising gambling websites and other unethical practices,” Nunn told UK’s The Independent. “Unfortunately, the fact that this ban is a blanket ban will mean that legitimate cryptocurrency businesses which provide valuable services to users will be unfairly caught in the crossfire.”

Now, with regulated companies invited back onto the ads platform, the expectation is that legitimate cryptocurrency businesses will now be permitted to advertise on Google and related services.

According to CNBC, the decision comes into effect from October, with companies required to demonstrate regulatory approval before their ads will be published. Ads will then be manually approved before going live.

While this will initially apply only in the U.S. and Japan, there is the expectation of a wider rollout of the ban reversal internationally in due course.

With Google now rolling back on its previous approach, it remains to be seen whether Facebook will also consider similar moves towards embracing regulated cryptocurrency institutions.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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