Location Sciences Group – Verify

LAUNCHING VERIFY – A SOLUTION TO UNITE THE INDUSTRY AND MAINTAIN TRUST IN LOCATION-DATA ACCURACY

Friday 25th May 2018 may go down in advertising technology history as a watershed moment, for reasons we all understand.

However, whilst GDPR has been an important part of our business plans since before we officially launched over a year ago, there has been something else we’ve been busy working on for the last 9 months that we feel is just as important, both for us as a business and for the wider advertising industry.

Today, we’re really excited to announce the launch of Verify – the first completely independent, media agnostic location verification solution available.

Verify enables advertisers and agencies to gain independently authenticated insight into the accuracy and precision of their location-based advertising campaigns.

Using Verify, advertisers will be able to understand location signal and POI radius accuracy, footfall, audience profile matching, and optimise their location media campaigns.

Location providers will also be able to benefit from Verify, by applying to complete our Location Quality Audit. This will enable the best in the market to prove the quality of their location data through independent verification.

Location data is an inherent and essential facet of mobile, with 42% of all media campaigns using location as either a targeting destination or audience proxy. It is therefore essential that the entire value chain works together to ensure the veracity of this unique data source remains intact.

We are well aware that there are some excellent location providers in the market, however the opaqueness of location data and programmatic execution, combined with the significant premium for location-based inventory, means the market is open to potential abuse.

WPP chairman Jeff Devlin has stated that he believes “80-90% of mobile ad inventory has incorrect or imprecise location data”. However, these are currently only anecdotal estimates. We believe there is a need for empirical measurement and verification.

We are uniquely placed to launch a product of this nature, as we are independent, media agnostic, with a proprietary place database and first-party data, providing us our truth set.

Inaccuracies can be caused by a wide range of factors, from negligence and poor targeting technology, through to deliberate and malicious fraud – app publishers appending a fake lat/long to their impressions served into the bidstream to drive up revenue.

To identify location data inaccuracy, we use a large number of data signals, statistical mapping and machine learning.

For example, we might see:

  • A location that is in the middle of the Thames
  • An alarm clock app that serves ads throughout the night in the background, with differing location signals
  • One app that is sending multiple device IDs from the same location
  • An app that is using a genuine device ID to send location data that is physically impossible – for example, London and then Yorkshire with a 10-minute timestamp window

With initiatives such as JICWEBS for brand safety, ads.txt for fraud and the IAB Gold Standard for quality, we believe location will sit alongside these initiatives to ensure brands are able to maximise the value of their investment and ultimately get what they are paying for.

Maybe, now Friday 25th May 2018 is finally here, we can put some of the GDPR scare stories behind us and start planning for the future. A future where location-based advertising remains trusted and robust.

We look forward to working with all sections of the industry to ensure this happens.