MIAMI – As it continues the global rollout of its digital advertising viewability standards, to combat bot fraud GroupM would like to add a new measurement metric to the mix: CPH (Cost Per Human).
Adopting CPH requires recalculating digital audiences after stripping out bot and fraud exposures, says Phil Cowdell, CEO of GroupM media agency Mediacom North America.
“Instead of buying a bucketful of impressions and not knowing how many of those are human and how many are not human, can I just buy the ones that are human?” Cowdell says.
Although this sounds easier said than done, GroupM uses a mix of technology and operating practices, some of which involve plain old common sense.
“It’s a very simple thing,” Cowdell says in an interview at the annual Transformation conference of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. “If there’s this site that somebody recommends for a client, saying ‘I must use dog and a cat in a garage.com,’ if I pick up the phone and phone them, does a human answer the phone? Is it real?”
GroupM’s approach involves shortening the list of websites with which it works, verifying the people it works with, establishing proper terms and conditions and “making sure what we deliver to our clients is a relevant audience in the right format for the right price. With a high CPH,” Cowdell says.
He scoffs at viewability guidelines for video that stipulate playing for two seconds but not initiated by a user and having no audio.
“That’s a bit like me driving at 70 miles an hour down the road and there’s a poster site under a bridge covered in pigeons and saying that counts as an impression because I saw it,” says Cowdell. “I think there is a difference between exposure and engagement,” he adds. “Viewability is not an engagement metric, it’s available to be viewed metric. It’s the old fashioned opportunities to see. I think there’s still a lot more to do.”