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Fraud is an inherent behavior of the human being and a sector that suffers this scourge is the publicity where all the players in the advertising industry are affected.
We are facing environments where the security of a brand may be questioned by where it may appear or where a campaign whose goal is to reach a qualified user, appears in fake URLs, has clicks made by non-real users or generates false downloads of apps.
Fraud professionals have been sophisticated with technologies and robotization that allow more effective simulations but that make the advertiser reduce the effectiveness of their investment - sometimes - by almost 20%. According to some studies, if measures for its reduction are not put in place, in just 5 years the fraud can reach up to 150,000 million dollars.
But not only robots can be responsible. In the end, malpractice is always human.
The challenge is there and the enormous diversity of platforms, as well as the lack of consensus in the industry, not only at country level, but also continental and even global in terms of parameters that may oblige both, tools and publishers to be certified and audited. it makes its eradication to be almost an entelechy and that the industry in the search for transparency is coming together to combat these bad practices.
Within the initiatives of MMA Spain are educational events and documentation such as this “ebook”, made in conjunction with FaqFraud, first in Spanish last year and translated and adapted to English in 2019, which shares reflections of professionals in the world of advertising and the programmatic about what is it adfraud, types of frauds and recommendations for its detection and suppression.
Linicom - FaqFraud - “The Ultimate Taboo”
Juan Antonio Muñoz-Gallego - Founder - FaqFraud & Chief
of Strategy Business Development - Linicom
Accenture Interactive - We humans as “algorithms”
Nacho Carnés - Lead of Programmatic Marketing, Innovation
& Thought Leadership - Accenture Interactive
Introduction - Fraude is inherently human
Elia Méndez – Managing Director - MMA Spain
Juan Antonio Muñoz-Gallego - Founder - FaqFraud
Reflections by MMA Spain members
S4M - Trust and transparency
Javier Plana - Country Manager Spain
22 Xaxis (GroupM) - The experience of using anti fraud
tools on programmatic advertising
Oscar Rodríguez - Managing Director
24 Reflections by FaqFraud members & collaborators
AMNET Iberia & SSA - Adfraud - The digital industry
Rafael Martínez - DAN Programmatic Leader & Head
Cayetano Chimeno - Prevent, detect and combat
Senior Advisor Programmatic Advertising
EMMA - How to fight fraud in mobile advertising
Antonio Sánchez - Executive Director
Tappx - Programmatic Adfraud for dummies
Santiago Soengas - Strategic Partnerships
Zeotap - AdFraud is also human
Marc Ginjaume - Country Manager Spain & LATAM
Sunmedia - Media Spoofing: ads.txt for apps
Álvaro Pastor - VP Operations International
Integral Ad Science (IAS) - Fraud in online
Benito Marín - Senior Account Manager Spain & Portugal
5Introduction - Fraud is inherently human
Fraud is an inherent behavior of the human being and a sector that suffers this scourge is the
publicity where all the players in the advertising industry are affected.
We are facing environments where the security of a brand may be questioned by where it
may appear or where a campaign whose goal is to reach a qualified user, appears in fake
URLs, has clicks made by non-real users or generates false downloads of apps.
Fraud professionals have been sophisticated with technologies and robotization that allow
more effective simulations but that make the advertiser reduce the effectiveness of their
investment - sometimes - by almost 20%. According to some studies, if measures for its
reduction are not put in place, in just 5 years the fraud can reach up to 150,000 million dollars.
But not only robots can be responsible. In the end, malpractice is always human.
The challenge is there and the enormous diversity of platforms, as well as the lack of consensus
in the industry, not only at country level, but also continental and even global in terms of
parameters that may oblige both, tools and publishers to be certified and audited. it makes
its eradication to be almost an entelechy and that the industry in the search for transparency
is coming together to combat these bad practices.
Fraud, visibility, brand safety and transparency are topics to be considered in MMA, both
globally and locally, which is why MMA Global has started the project called “SAVE”.
6Introduction - Fraud is inherently human
SAVE is a “Think Tank” specialized in “Brand Safety” created with the main participation of
MMA partner marketers, where expert agencies and partner technological developers are also
included with the aim of ensuring the safeguarding of brands in any marketing environment.
Its Board establishes processes, programs, benchmarks and measures aimed at protecting
the reputation of brands and their investment in marketing.
Likewise within SAVE, working groups have been created for each of the actions that will be
carried out linked to the safety of the brand, where fraud also has its chapter as to how to
identify and neutralize it.
At local level, MMA Spain is committed to
transparency, participating in key groups
such as the Advertising Industry Commission
where all the key associations related to the
marketing and advertising industries are
present, as well as with strategic agreements,
such as the one signed with FaqFraud -
co-editor. of this ebook - a non-profit
organization that constitutes a line of help to
stop fraud in the digital advertising industry,
made up of programmatic experts and
leading companies from all over the digital
Within the initiatives of MMA Spain are
educational events and documentation
such as this “ebook”, made in conjunction
with FaqFraud, first in Spanish last year
and translated and adapted to English
in 2019, which shares reflections of
professionals in the world of advertising and
the programmatic about what is it adfraud, types of frauds and recommendations for its
detection and suppression.
We wish you enjoy your reading.
Mobile Marketing Association Spain (MMA Spain)
Juan Antonio Muñoz-Gallego
Lead of Programmatic Marketing,
Innovation & Thought Leadership
We, humans as “algorithms”
9We, humans as “algorithms”
After working in the advertising and
Internet industry and focusing on digital
marketing, digital strategy & paid media,
measurement, attribution & contribution,
optimization & budget distribution, for
the past 20 years, I believe that Adfraud
is an important problem occurring in the
Internet industry for several years, and
that it will certainly become a key topic in
2019. Furthermore, I also believe that its
truth is something that must be explained
and clarified to the industry, especially to
marketers and brands, in order to let them
make their own decisions.
Collection and hosting non-human traffic
data in the DMP (Data Management
Platform), is not the best practice. I
definitely believe that it is not good for the
attribution model and its improvement,
and certainly not for the strategic and
tactical performance. Therefore, we have
to move towards an approach that will help
marketers and brands to not only identify
and gain reports about non-human traffic,
Adfraud, but to also support and assist them
in blocking, combating and preventing it
Non-human traffic percentages depend on the country as well as its market size and
maturity. For instance if we look at Europe and compared Spain and Portugal to other
European countries, such as the UK or Germany, we can come to notice and confirm that
the percentages of the Non-Human Traffic in the south of Europe aren’t significantly
high at around 5%. However, according to the most trusted and popular provider of
marketing measurement software, data, and analytics that authenticates the quality and
effectiveness of digital media in Spain, the percentages increased by 45% in the past six
Big companies and brands, especially the early adopters, are moving towards a more
complex and sophisticated ecosystem in which bots, AI, and machine learning are
helping human teams and enterprises to improve their processes and capabilities, and
to optimize time and resources while reducing cost and risks, but also creating better
user experiences. So, of course, we find fake bots in the Internet, but some of them
are also “Good” bots. Bots created by the enterprises as additional tools to support
and influence in the achievement of their strategic and tactical targets during the users
Bots are and will be in our lives, and both
bots and us (Humans) are part of the
Internet ecosystem and live together in
the Internet. This might be something that
people aren’t already realising, but we are
starting to automatize some of our daily
tasks and several other aspects of our
lives. It is probably that almost actually we
are starting to use bots to book a flight,
to reserve a table at a restaurant, to do
bank transfers, to suggest me what dress
to buy, or recommend me what to do for
the weekend, and a lot more. Maybe we
will also become just in a Bot, and have
both Human Personality and virtual DNA
being me, being the same. We Humans as
From my point of view, Bots are now being conceptualized and created to support the
enterprise strategy, to optimize the management of its users and clients experiences,
and to minimize cost getting the efficiency, all for the company interests (supply side).
However it is not really for the user benefits and interests. Therefore, we surely need to
change and adjust its dimension and perspective. We must turn current bots into a new
generation that work and support me (being myself), bots that work for me personally
and my own individual human interests, desires and wishes. By doing this, these new
generation of bots would minimize my risk and efforts, making me possibly be in a more
secure and safe environment throughout my life and experiences, and even assuming
measurable responsibilities in specific “ugly” situations.
Following this approach, maybe enterprises must start thinking different. To continue
working on ways to communicate, generate brand awareness, and build experiences in
the right Human Users, and building ways to interact with these new generation of so
called “Human” Bots.
For example, nowadays Marketers, Developers and Web Designers work together and
collaborate to create accessibility and positive user experiences within the websites
or Apps - Front-Office, is conceptualized and created for Humans, and Back-Office for
Robots (such a Google Robot). By which I mean that enterprises will have to work in
order to create ways, forms, Bots, . . . oriented to interact and have regular interactions
with these “Humans” Bots (Virtual DNA) of the Human Users (Delegated Human Identity)
that maybe could be allowed to do purchases.
And to finalize and clarify: of course it is important to integrate the Non-Human Traffic
Data generated through the interactions between Humans and these “Good” Bots and
next generation of “Human” Bots (controlled Non-Human Traffic Data), into the DMP, as
we actually do with data coming from sources like web and app analytics tool, Ad Server,
CRM, Call Centre, . . . Moreover, it is equally relevant to also take them into consideration
in and for the current Data-Driven Attribution Models.
We, humans as “algorithms”
Accenture solves their clients’ toughest challenges by providing unmatched services
in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. They partner with more than
three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500, driving innovation to improve the way the
world works and lives. With expertise across more than 40 industries and all business
functions, they deliver transformational outcomes for a demanding new digital world.
Lead of Programmatic Marketing, Innovation & Thought
Leadership - Accenture Interactive
We, humans as “algorithms”
Degree in Information Sciences, in the specialties of
Advertising and Public Relations, also Specialist in
Advertising Management, and Master in Data Mining &
20 years of experience in Marketing, Research, Advertising,
Digital Marketing, Digital Strategy, Data Strategy,
Measurement and Attribution (Site Centric, Ad Centric,
CRM Centric); co-author of the White Paper on Electronic
Commerce and the INKS2015 Guide.
Currently and since the end of April 2017 I work as Lead of Programmatic Marketing,
Innovation & Thought Leadership in Accenture Interactive, and previously for companies
such as Kaspersky Lab, Yahoo !, COLUMBIA TRISTAR FILMS, G DATA, ROI UP Agency,
Globalia (AirEuropa.com & HalcónViajes.com), or Netthink-Carat among others.
I have lived in Spain, in Germany and Holland, and I have worked from the side of the
Advertiser, the Agency, and the Environment, from the Strategic Planning side, from the
Strategic-Creative Conceptualization, and from the Planning and Purchase of Media.
In 2008 I also started my collaboration as Professor and Speaker on different areas of
Digital Marketing in ESIC, ICEMD, Francisco de Vitoria University, KSchool, and ESADE
among others, activity that today I combine with my current position in Accenture.
Juan Antonio Muñoz-Gallego
Chief of Strategy Business Development
“The ultimate Taboo”
13“The ultimate Taboo”
As with everything that is taboo, advertising fraud generates economic, brand, business
and even legal harm that many people try to avoid talking about.
In Linicom we know that it is difficult but it is necessary to solve it. FaqFraud was created
to break that taboo and talk about it. And. Of course, actively fight it sharing knowledge
about practices, tools and all need to not keep feeding easy the bots.
The first aspect, it’s the economic damage; although I am not able to provide a figure of
fraud because it would mean that we are able to detect it completely. And it’s not.
New figures released today suggest that advertising fraud will cost brands $ 16.4 billion
worldwide this year, and is almost 20 per cent of total spending on digital advertising in
2016 (Source https: //www.cnbc .com / 2017/03/15 / businesses-could-lose-164-billion-
A second important aspect, the brand damage, because probably with techniques such
as domain spoofing, your brand is placed in a site that can be related to illegal downloads,
adult or even worse.
The Ultimate Taboo
Why the hell can’t we talk about it?
And a third one, the damage to
networks do with fraud in the
attribution of leads infecting
you business intelligence and
And many or your organic
leads or sells are assigned to
someone who has not done it,
and maybe your infected data
redirects more investment
to that network that in some
cases it has even shown our ad.
In addition to corrupting our
internal data to make strategic
fraud will cost
a 20% of
decisions, something that puts a business in serious risk.
Last but not least, a legal damage, because behind many of these fraudulent networks
there are other illegal businesses and economic funds would be being provided to these
The world of digital and programmatic advertising is not an option, as other businesses
have changed and there is no going back (uber, airbnb, netflix, ...), this change must be
14“The ultimate Taboo”
Keep your guard up
Wherever there is a large investment, it is a call to the bad guys
Transparency, is key to remove the biggest advantage of adfraud,
being in the dark. For this, there are several techniques: ads.txt / ads.
cert, blacklist/whitelist, Transparent Programmatic Direct, No walled
gardens where we don’t have information, for example.
Data - In the absence of quality seals, have partners with the highest
possible certification. Applying audience and data to campaigns
requires more investment and as we have talked about it makes it a
call to fraud.
Analyse the real KPIs of the business
In many cases, the DMP can help identify where fraud is.
Validated and audited tools
Equip yourself with fraud detection tools backed by MRC and third-
Ask your partners to work actively against fraud. And that the
tolerance to fraud is 0.
train your team to be prepared
And follow FaqFraud
And the key to this comes from outside the advertising world, possibly the CEO of
It is important to work with those key pieces so that the objective is achieved and that
the programmatic advertising investment multiplies by a lot in the coming years. As well
as protect from all damage to those businesses.
Linicom, the next generation of video engagement.
2019’s largest global technology provider of video
page views increase.
FaqFraud is a non-profit alliance with the mission
to stop fraud in the digital advertising environment.
FaqFraud was established by key companies
throughout the digital advertising funnel and its sole
mission is to provide full support to all companies
that need assistance in aspects related to digital
advertising fraud, brand safety and transparency.
Juan Antonio Muñoz-Gallego
Chief of Strategy Business Development - Linicom
Founder - FaqFraud
He has developed his entire professional career in the
field of mobile and entrepreneurship. Encompassing
especially the world of Digital Strategy, Advertising
and Mobile Monetization.
Ex President of the Spain Mobile Marketing
Association, participating in the Infoadex technical
committee and member of the board of directors
of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Spain.
“The ultimate Taboo”
Managing Director Spain
Trust & transparency
17Trust & transparency
I recently read a story about two big Chinese companies dedicated to the world of
application downloads that were caught ‘cheating’ by using techniques such as click
spamming to obtain illegal downloads.
I had worked with one of these companies back when I was in a London agency and,
from the very first moment we saw that their results were suspicious.
It’s not possible that thousands of reported clicks only generated a few dozen
You don’t have to be an expert in digital performance or understand mobile advertising
to know that, if someone clicks on your banner, it is because you they’ve liked your
ad and are curious or because they’ve liked the app and want to download it, so you
expect to see a proportional number between the number of clicks and number of
In any case, if you know a little about the mobile ecosystem, you will know that there
are accidental clicks in which users do not intend to go to the destination site, but to
close the ad on their screen.
Assuming the percentage of accidental clicks and clicks of curious people who don’t
download the app in the end because it is not what they expect, the conversion
between the number of clicks of this player and the number of downloads generated
was meaningless and we continued to see a volume of clicks that was too big for so few
downloads. The problem was that those few downloads accounted for the total that we
had paid for.
What a coincidence, that they could always generate
the number of downloads we had paid for and also at
a very low ‘Cost per Download’.
This was becoming a snowball, because the more you
have the more you want, and the advertiser always
asked for more and didn’t understand that we were
both feeding this monster that we call ad fraud.
Although this experience is closely related to the
world of downloads, my first piece of advice to fight
ad fraud in this world — as well as geo-localisation
or any type of digital communication - is that both
advertisers, agencies or any player who invests
in digital advertising analyse the results of their
campaigns — and even more when in the case of
performance campaigns — and use a professional
logic and rigour, thus not feeding ad fraud when they
want to reach the target audiences any which way.
This is easy to say, but you don’t always have time,
resources and specific knowledge to analyse the
18Trust and Transparency
Media Rating Council Accreditation
MRC is an organization that conducts yearly external audits to guarantee
VALID, RELIABLE and EFFECTIVE audience measurement services
We don’t want to waste time and money due to a mediocre
media supply chain. P&G will only adopt MRC standards.
Marc Prichard, P&G’s Chief Brand Oﬃcer (March 2017)
6 months of audit with an independent
The ANA is urging the seven main
advertising platforms to allow independent
audits to the MRC (March 2017)
Yearly renewal audit
• Activity continuity plan
• Risk assessment process
• Invalid general traﬃc detection
• Incident communication process
• Project management process
• Docs about methodology/Help Desk
Internal processes improvement
1st. accreditation: 18 months y 2500 hours
800 hours dedicated internally to the
accreditation of the MRC
results in detail. Besides, it’s not always easy to discover
patterns as clearly as we saw them in download
campaigns; that was why we used technologies like
the one that has found these Chinese players and that
make the analyst life easier.
My second piece of advice is to implement such
technologies, be it for download campaigns — such as ad
fraud technologies, viewability and brand safety — or for
the rest of the digital campaigns.
Any cost in this sense will really result in a greater trust,
thanks to transparency.
Many may say that ad fraud techniques are becoming
increasingly sophisticated and that it’s difficult to detect
them; yet, technologies to combat this great threat are
also more advanced.
Let’s flee from alarmism: let’s be positive while being rigorous. Generally, companies
that invest in detecting bad practices conduct audits of the entire process, in order to
obtain accreditations from organizations such as the MRC (Media Rating Council).
The MRC is a non-profit organization established in 1963 in the United States. In Spain
it’s not well known yet, but in the USA its accreditation is a ‘must’ for any player who
wants to get the investment of advertisers or agencies to do their campaigns.
19Trust and Transparency
Ensure valid, reliable and effective audience measurement services for
the media industry and related users.
Evolve and decide on the dissemination and ethical criteria of media
audience measurement services.
Provide and run an audit system designed to inform users on whether
such audience measurements are made in accordance with the
developed criteria and procedures.
The Media Rating Council (MRC) Goals
Rigorously analyse the data of your campaigns
Use certiﬁed technologies of analysis and detection of ad fraud, viewability
and brand safety
Work with partners that offer such an MRC accreditation
If you want to go beyond data analysis and the implementation of technologies to fight
the threat of ad fraud, my third piece of advice is to also work with partners that
offer guarantees such as the MRC accreditation.
This accreditation by a trusted third party guarantees that advertisers and media
agencies that work with accredited partners only pay for metrics that respect the
standards established by the MRC and the recommendations by the MMA (Mobile
Marketing Association) and the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau).
For a company such as S4M, our first MRC accreditation in 2016 entailed months of
audits and several hundred hours of work. It’s a complex process that requires a lot of
time, especially for the product team. That’s why we are proud to say, once again, that
we’re one of the main international players in terms of accreditation, as we’re able to
provide the level of assurance required by the MRC to the brands and agencies we work
S4M – Leading provider of drive to store technology, for the
third year in a row, it has renewed its accreditation through
the Media Rating Council (MRC) for HTML5 mobile web,
rich media impressions served and clicks and for post-click
metrics landings, facilities, and openings of applications.
S4M remains being the only mobile vendor accredited by
the MRC for post-click metrics.
S4M has created an open technology that allows the
advertiser to manage, measure and optimize in real time
incremental visits to physical and online points of sale.
S4M guarantees brands transparency and total autonomy,
from online impressions to conversions and depends only
on data obtained with the explicit consent of the user.
Founded in 2011 by pioneers of mobile marketing, S4M has
an international presence and provides its services to more
than 600 advertisers from all over the world. The company
has more than 160 employees spread across its offices in
the United States, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.
For more information: www.s4m.io
Javier Plana, Country Manager Spain
Javier has been dedicated to Mobile Marketing for more
than 10 years.
He is the General Director of S4M Spain and member of the
Board of Directors of the MMA.
Most of her career has been lived in London both in the
agency part in Havas Media and M & C Saatchi Mobile and
in the adtech part in YouAppi and Smadex.
He loves the past, present and future combination. Respect,
admire and take into account the past, our roots, our
history and all the good things achieved to this day, love the
present we live in, a present of great changes that we need
to know how to adapt and passion for the future, full of lack
of knowledge and opportunities at the same time.
Trust and Transparency
The experience of using
tools against fraud for
22The experience of using tools against fraud for programmatic advertising
The experience of using tools against fraud for
While in our case (Xaxis-GroupM Spain), after making several tests, we have detected
that the fraud percentage that we suffer is 0.03%, when the global average is close to
9%, the truth is that advertising fraud is, unfortunately, like piracy. An evil that lurks in
the digital environment.
When an illegal downloads website is closed, new ones are already being made. And it
forces all players, which work in advertising and digital communication, to put all the
anti-fraud tools on the table to prevent different types of fraud.
How do we get an almost invaluable ratio of 0.03%?
Initially we started using a white list of media
to avoid appearing in unwanted websites.
Then we started to use pre-bid solution
(provided by Integral Ad Science) for ensure
that, despite appearing only on premium
websites, we have the guarantee that the
content is safe for the advertiser and its brand.
Despite putting these two ‘firewalls’, we have
suffered some issues (minimum incidences)
due to “Domain Spoofing”, which consists
of masking a URL to impersonate any other
Until recently there was no solution to avoid
the ‘ Domain Spoofing ‘. We were able to
monitor it, but the pre-bid solutions could not
prevent that advertising appear in a domain
that was impersonating any other website.
Today there is a solution called “post-bid firewall”, which detects that the false domain
is being passed through a secure domain and doesn’t make the request to the ad server
to show the ad. The impression is counted in our DSP (Demand Side Platform), but is not
counted on the advertiser’s ad server, so the cost doesn’t impact on advertiser’s side,
because the impression never was shown.
From a technical point of view, digital advertising is a complex business, and we will have
to keep working without lowering our guard to avoid new forms of fraud.
Media White list
Integral Ad Science
Xaxis is ‘The Outcome Media Company’.
It is a GroupM’s programmatic buyig unit.
GroupM is the head of the media agencies of WPP, which
manages 31% of the global investment. GroupM is the only
company in the media and communication sector in Spain
to obtain, for five years in a row, the label ‘Top employer’
and the only one to be present in the Top100 of the best
Spanish companies to work. GroupM media agencies are
Mindshare, MediaCom, WaveMaker, Mediterránea and M/Six,
each of them with global operations and leading positions
in the advertising market.
Our positioning and commitment are to work based on outcomes, with a KPI guarantee,
so clients for whom we work don’t have to worry about the complexity that is behind
We try to make everything easier, understandable and safe, in response to a clear
commitment and requirement of Brand Safety & Viewability
Óscar F. Rodríguez - Director General - Xaxis
Óscar has an extensive knowledge of the Spanish digital
Bachelor in Economics from the Autonomous University in
2000. Master in Direct and Interactive Marketing at ESIC
12 years in Grupo Prisa linked to the digital advertising
department as Director of digital advertising product
development (August 2000 - July 2012).
In GroupM since July 2012 and for 4 years, he has performed
functions as Head of Mobile and between March and
September 2016, he has been the Head of Sales of XAXIS
Spain (Programmatic Purchase Unit of GroupM). Currently
and since October 2016, he is the “Managing Director” of
Xaxis Spain (XAXIS Audiences + Light Reaction).
The experience of using tools against fraud for programmatic advertising
FaqFraud members &
DAN Programmatic Leader & Head
AMNET Iberia & SSA
The digital industry biggest
26AdFraud - The digital industry biggest threat
We are facing a phenomenon that goes back almost to the beginning of the Internet
Advertising and is something that far from falling behind, has continued to grow. It means,
according to some sources, a problem of about 50 billion dollars.
However, the industry and we as DAN, have carried out actions that allow to put an end
to one of the biggest tares in the Internet industry.
The relevance of the problem
has also led the Advertising
Industry Commission in Spain
(CIP) to get down to work and
work on a document / guide to
shed light on the entire industry
on the Ad Fraud, in which it
consists, the different forms
of fraud, recommendations to
act against it and definitions.
Hoping that it will allow all
the players involved to be on
the same page and create a
common front to combat it.
The COMMISSION OF THE
ADVERTSING INDUSTRY OF SPAIN
(CIP) is working on a document
/ guide on the Ad Fraud; Brand
Safety & Transparency guide,
that explains the different
forms of fraud, definitions and
recommendations to act against it.
The disintermediation that the programmatic purchase has brought has led to an increase
in fraud due to the difficulty in many cases to identify the origin of the traffic, although it
is true that in our case from DAN we have put all the instruments and actions to minimize
the possibility of fraud. In this sense we work with verification tools that allow us in pre-
bid and during the development of the campaign not to access impressions of dubious
reputation. We work with whitelists in which we include premium partners.
On top of these measures, we work on a recurring basis, in reports that allow us to detect
signs of fraudulent practices, eliminating immediately those sources that do not proceed
correctly or that carry out activities that suggest some type of fraud.
On the other hand, I think that the Industry should work on a certification that will help
the partners with whom to increase the information about the inventory and the resellers
they are working with, a clear example are the extensions ad.txt and ad.cert. That means
that they do not carry out bad practices and implement all measures to prevent fraud.
At industry level we should work
on a certification that will help
partners with whom we work nor
to carry out bad practices and
implement measures to prevent
Of course, we are talking about voluntary actions, but for sure it will help to minimize
and stop the fraudulent actors. Something similar to what was done with the “Confianza
Online” certification on transactional sites.
We are at a key moment in the evolution of the advertising industry, not only in terms of
digital, there must be a total union in the industry to eradicate or minimize fraud, in this
way we will all get benefits from it.
Amnet is the programmatic division of the DAN
Group, with presence in more than 37 countires and
with more 500 professionals.
With a vision of putting data up front, we help our
clients to be closer to their audiences, developing
programmatic and data strategies, as well as the
activation and management of them.
The development of AMNET Audience Center
(AAC) allow us to help brands to better know their
consumers and be more efficient in communication..
DAN Programmatic Leader and Head of - Amnet
Iberia & SSA
I am a “rara avis” because I studied Biology, although
I joined the Digital Marketing industry more than 16
years ago. To have a better vision of the behavior
of companies (my specialty was ecosystems ...), I
completed my training with an MBA (IESE).
In the digital industry, I have spent most of my time
on the side of the Agency, working on Havas, WPP,
Publicis and now on Dentsu Aegis Network. Even so,
I also have the client’s perspective, since I worked
for 3 years in Vodafone. I have been completing
my experience while I was in Digilant (independent
Trading Desk) for 2 years, leading the operation in
Right now I am responsible for the Programmatic
Team of the DAN Group for Iberia and SSA.
AdFraud - The digital industry biggest threat
29Prevent, detect and combat Adfraud
Ideas to prevent, detect and combat Adfraud
Fraud has always existed in a wide range of different business. We talk about AdFraud
in online marketing since digital advertising was born . However, we began to talk more
about it since digital has become the second in terms of advertising spend and is on track
to become the first, especially with the growth of the connected TV.
The Martech ecosystem is becoming more sophisticated every day
We are currently facing
an ecosystem in which
technology is becoming
more sophisticated and
complex every day and
where the number of
Martech companies has
Only in a 6 years
period the number of
from around 150 in 2011
up to 7.000 in 2018.
Source: Marketing Technology Media LLC
Source: Juniper Research
This situation has caused that Adfraud systems have also become more sophisticated
and that AdFraud figures have grown to worrying levels in the United States, a country
that we usually use as a reference to see global trends.
Revenues lost due to fraud could reach 30% by 2022 in the US
We estimate that 14 billion US
dollars were lost in 2017 due to
fraud and that the current evolution
could increase this figure to 44
Taking into account that digital
investment in the US in 2017
amounted to 83 billion, we could
consider a 17% of Adfraud.
And considering the trends, Adfraud
could reach a 30% share for US
market in 2022.
How to prevent, detect and combat Adfraud
This new scenario pushes us to use different resources to prevent, detect and combat
adfraud. We think that zero fraud is almost impossible, but being able to reduce it to less
than 1% or 3% should be possible. Here are some ideas:
Select your partners carefully
When selecting an adexchange technology to buy or
sell, it is strongly recommended to look for certified
partners that ensure quality in three ways: combat ad
fraud through clean practices such as the use of ads.txt
to eliminate the domain spoofing (masked domains),
promote brand safety environments through rigorous
technical and human quality control procedures, and
finally, avoid the use of intrusive creatives that lead the
user to activate adblockers.
Use AdVerification tools
There are different tools on the market that can monitor
our activity to help us detect adfraud and make decisions.
Legal Agreements: read carefully before signing
Each agreement with each partner must be legally
supported with a realistic contract, adapted to a realistic
situation and should obliges the partner to respect a
perimeter of action.
Prevent, detect and combat Adfraud
Choose good quality websites and pay the right
Since the beginning of the “programmatic era”, the “user
centric” strategies have been given a lot of value: “find
the right user, at the right time and pay the minimum
price for it”.
We must not disregard the importance of the
environment, and consider “site centric” strategies. We
should choose a good selection of the websites where
we will run our campaigns and we should give a high
value to those that are also involved in offering a clean
and high quality experience to the user. This will take us
away from Adfraud, although we must be willing to pay
higher CPMs. Perhaps direct response short-term KPI´s
should be modified and we should take care of other
KPI’s related to our brand’s perception on the internet.
Team of professionals: quantity and quality
Companies must create teams of people with a right
knowledge of technological solutions. The team should
know about Adfraud practices and should have time
enough to do their analysis and to put implementations
Cayetano Chimeno has a more than 12 years’ experience
in the Digital Advertising business, 6 of them specialized
in Programmatic Advertising.
His most recent experience has been as Head of
Programmatic & Data in Grupo Zeta, Spanish premium
publisher. Previously, he was the Country Manager for
Spain at JustPremium, adexchange of high impact ads.
Currently, he is working for Rubicon Project and Viralize
to strengthen its presence in the Spanish market and
collaborates with schools like ICEMD/ESIC and The
Valley as programmatic professor.
Cayetano Chimeno - Senior Advisor
Prevent, detect and combat Adfraud
How to fight fraud in mobile
33How to fight fraud in mobile advertising
At EMMA we have been working since 2012
exclusively in App Marketing and we have
become witnesses of how professionals
have realized the growing problem that
fraud in advertising represents.
However, we often find that many
professionals in the sector lack the
necessary knowledge to identify fraud,
much less to know the options that exist to
Therefore, in 2018 we join this initiative
for the common good of the sector of
communication: educating and preventing
professionals from this problem that affects
the entire mobile ecosystem; talking loud
and clear about Fraud in Mobile Advertising.
We firmly believe that the first step in the
fight against fraud begins with collective
conscience. Only then, we can find
transparency and efficient for all the actors
involved in the industry: advertisers, Ad-
networks, consumers, etc.
Although we are all potential victims of
fraud techniques, advertisers take the
worst part without question. The large
investments in advertising that attract
scammers mean that a high percentage of
the budget allocated is lost.
As we can imagine, we are not talking
about losses of thousands of euros but of
millionaire losses, every day. Reason why
we need more initiatives and tools to stop
the first step in
“Although we are
victims of fraud
worst part is, no
How do we fight against fraud?
After investigating the advertising fraud and the most common techniques developed by
fraudsters, we have built an algorithm based on 5 master rules:
Detects the injection of a second click between the original click
and the installation. This way, we avoid that the scammers
appropriate of a download that they did not generate.
This rule is based on the observation of the duration from the click
until the App is installed. When it last less than few seconds, it is
When a signiﬁcant volume of installations is carried out at certain
times in the early morning, they are likely to have been generated
Time of installation
Detects when an installation is made from a country to which the
campaign has not been targeted.
When the IP from where the installation starts does not match the
one of the device, it is very likely that it is fraud.
Device time zone
With these five rules, some of our clients are saving up to 20% of the advertising
investment in each campaign. Además les permite medir la atribución real de sus
campañas de una manera mucho más realista y fiable.
In addition, our Fraud Tool, allows them to measure the actual attribution of their
campaigns in a much more realistic and reliable way.
Whatever the level of fraud, it can be fought, and we keep the commitment to continue
facing the new forms of fraud that may appear.
How to fight fraud in mobile advertising
EMMA is a Mobile Marketing tool to measure and optimize
user’s acquisition and retention.
It aims to help App marketers to make better decisions.
In a single platform and it also allows managing the user’s
communications through the App, optimizing the budget
- thanks to the correct attribution of installations - and
creating automated rules to accelerate the process.
In summary, it’s a technology that facilitates the complete
management of your App Marketing.
Antonio Sánchez - Executive Director - EMMA
Antonio has extensive knowledge of the global mobile
Computer engineer by the University of Granada, develops
the beginning of his professional career working 10 years
as a consultant in the implementation of CRM software for
national and international clients such as Dyson, Banco
Santander or Gas Natural.
After presenting the iPhone in 2007, he founded Lost
Developers to develop applications for clients such as
Groupalia and Force Manager.
In 2012, he founded EMMA with the objective of measuring
the profitability of the Apps of the companies and equipping
them with tools to improve and increase their ROI with real
data and precise actions.
How to fight fraud in mobile advertising
Senior Account Manager
Spain & Portugal
Fraud in Online
37Fraud in Online Advertising
The aim to control AdFraud is to make sure that advertising impressions are generated
by people in a correct way, and not by robots.
The Media Rating Council, (MRC), is the organization that verify that these measurements
tasks have been done correcty.
IAS defines 5 different types of ad fraud, even we must consider that the last 2 are
referred more to Reduced Valid Inventory:
Ad impressions generated correctly by people and
not by robots
GIVT (General Invalid Traffic)
Traffic that failed to meet ad quality criteria filtered through and caught by
known IP and bot lists (ex: google web crawlers)
SIVT (Sophisticated Invalid Traffic)
A malicious software application that runs automated tasks over the internet,
usually to make a profit by falsely mimicking real human activity.
Ads that have no chance of ever being seen by humans. Types of hidden ads
include: pixel stuffing, ad stacking, ads clipped by iframes, zero opacity ads,
off-page ads, ad trucation, and hidden ads embedded in ads.
Incentive traffic (RVI)
The act of interacting with ads for payment or benefits usually not by an
audience targeted by the advertiser.
A computer network service that uses indirect network connections to
sometimes enable bots to hide their true identity and location
38Fraud in Online Advertising
Measure fraud across all campaigns to understand aggregate performance
Ask your ad server, your fraud solution or other vendor how it measures bots
and other IVT forms.
To identify Fraud
Identify AdFraud is very important to protect brands from these events, and make
sure that those ads are shown to real people. These are some tips:
Use fraud solutions that have been accredited by the MRC for both general
and sophisticated IVT and follow the MRC guidelines for IVT detection and
Offer and request more transparency into inventory and traffic, including
sourced traffic and audience extension
Use verification and fraud services that can confirm ads were delivered on
plan (to the sites, devices, locations, and audiences desired); whether the
environment had ad clutter and other placement concerns or whether it was
before they hit
the creative ad
tagged in order
to prevent future
pages that have
of fraud, which
can be tracked
Use pre-bid screening.
The biggest factor here is awareness and participation. It’s critical that all members of the
digital ecosystem are a part of the process and solution.
39Fraud in Online Advertising
Integral Ad Science (IAS) is a global technology and
data company that creates verification and optimization
solutions to enable the advertising industry to influence
consumers effectively everywhere and on all devices.
Solve the most pressing problems for brands, agencies,
publishers and technology companies, verifying that all
impressions have the opportunity to be effective and
optimizing to have opportunities to improve results
IAS focuses on data science and engineering and is
headquartered in New York with global operations in 13
countries. Find out more at www.integralads.com/es
Benito Marín - Senior Account Manager Spain and
Portugal - Integral Ad Science
Benito has been working in the online advertising sector
since 1995. The first part of his career he focused on
working in support: Doubleclick, AdLink, Wanadoo-Orange.
Later he specialized in email marketing, directing United
MailSolutions and as marketing director of Experian.
After a brief step by affiliation, he entered the world of
online advertising by profiles, working as a commercial
director at PAN, where they impacted target audiences
through native advertising.
Currently, he is a Senior Account Manager at Integral Ad
Science, a company that measures the quality of online
advertising media: viewability, brand safety and adfraud,
among other metrics.
Integral Ad Science
elaborates an AdFraud
benchmark every 6
These are the results
in H1 2018 in Spain:
VP Operations & International
Media Spoofing: ads.txt
One of the biggest challenges with digital fraud was media spoofing. This started in the
web environment and extended to mobile apps and connected TV.
Media spoofing consists of a hoax media property that presents itself as another property
in order to get better prices, fill rates or both. This kind of fraud was especially prevalent
in the programmatic environment. Because buyers do not have access to the site prebid,
they must rely on the URL that is being informed to them by the publisher. Hence, a
publisher could inform of a false URL in the RTB bid request.
An interesting aspect about spoofing it that it harms both advertisers, that bids on an
impression they do not want, and the publisher whose site is being spoofed, that does
not receive a revenue that was intended for them.
In the web environment, both desktop and mobile, spoofing is no longer a significant
problem as it once was since the massive adoption of ads.txt both by publishers and
Media Spoofing: ads.txt for apps
“Spoofing” harms both
the advertiser, who bid
for an impression that
is not what it wants, as
the publisher, whose
domain is used for
concealment as it stops
receiving a money that
the advertiser thought he
was going to his media.
One of the beauties of ads.txt was how relatively simple it was to implement, in part due
to the flexibility that the web environment has when compared to others such as apps.
The next evolution of ads.txt, ads.cert will be the final nail in the coffin of media spoofing.
However, ads.cert won’t be possible till DSPs and SSPs implement OpenRTB 3.0. It will
also be a Little bit harder to implement on the publisher side so adoption will likely be a
bit slower than with ads.txt
42Media Sppofing: ads.txt for apps
Due to the success of the iniciative in web and the good results fighting against spoofing
and unauthorized reselling, IAB Tech Lab is already working on ads.txt for apps. The main
problem was how to create a simple way for creators to notify buyers, and their DSPs, of
the authorized sellers of their inventory.
Making this information available was nor easy nor practical so the solution has been to
implement it via the web environment.
All content creators have a website and if that is not the case the entry barrier to have
it is relatively small. At the same time, appstores have a field where developers include
their website URL. What DSPs will have to check for is that URL and append app-ads.txt
to the domain. For simplicity IAB has created also a request to appstores to create the
metadata that is needed by DSPs and exchanges to effectively implement ads.txt in apps.
Hence the URL where DSPs would look for the app-ads.txt file would look something like
The full first Public Draft can be found here: https://iabtechlab.com/wp-content/
There is still no timeframe for app-ads.txt to get out of Beta but I am quite positive it will
certainly be sometime this 2019.
SunMedia is the company specialized in video and
branding, leader in Spain with more than 10 million
unique users (comScore April 2018), belonging to
the fibonad group, with more than 80 million euros
revenue in 2017.
Its technological leadership in video solutions and
its own creative study, allows media and advertisers
to obtain greater performance in their advertising
campaigns. In addition to a constant evolution
being pioneers in launching new formats such as
AVA (Always Visible Ads) and Reminder (combines
the video + display), revolutionizing the sector and
making SunMedia specialists in viewability.
It has a portfolio of more than 1,000 clients, works
with the main media agencies and its network is
formed by the leading sites in each category.
Its international presence in Europe, America and
Asia and its staff of more than 300 people, covers
the demand for traffic worldwide.
Álvaro Pastor, VP Operations & International
Álvaro has been involved in the advertising sector
He was one of the founders of mobusi and the
He is currently VP of Operations and International
in SunMedia, the group’s branding company.
Media Sppofing: ads.txt for apps
Programmatic Adfraud for
45Programmatic Adfraud for dummies
Juniper Research estimates
that brands lose as much
as $19 billion a year in
ad impressions that aren’t
seen by real people.
Ad fraud impacts
both advertisers and
publishers, albeit in
Internet has empowered digital marketers with
greater control over campaign performance than
ever before. However, ad fraud has always been
prevalent in advertising.
For example, how can we be sure that someone
distributing flyers hasn’t just chucked them all in the
There’s been a growing awareness around fraudulent
activity over time throughout the digital ecosystem.
It’s like a perpetual game of cat and mouse – whilst
advertisers improve detection and prevention, criminals
find new ways of conducting their criminal activity.
Juniper Research estimates that brands lose as much
as $19 billion a year in ad impressions that aren’t seen
by real people.
Ad fraud impacts both advertisers and publishers,
albeit in different ways.
To tackle the issue, it’s important to understand how
fraudsters are targeting us.
The anti-fraud strategy we pursue must be aligned
with the type of fraud we face.
Advertisers are mostly affected by non-human traffic, fake events (clicks and installs)
and ads displayed on dubious content or that aren’t even visible to real users. Hence the
importance of using tools that allow us to curb fraud, monitor viewability and ensure
One way of ensuring inventory quality is to work with publishers that have been certified
by industry-recognized anti-fraud programs. For the time being, the Trustworthy
Accountability Group (TAG) in the US and JICWEBS in the UK are the most valued by
advertisers in the English-speaking world.
On the publisher side, it’s important to monitor creatives, especially if they come from
unknown sources with whom we don’t have a direct relationship. A consequence of not
doing so may be that ads with adult or extreme content are displayed to unsuspecting
On the other hand, we may also be receiving ads that at first glance look good, but once
clicked redirect us to undesirable content or install malware on the device.
In order to prevent ad fraud, we must turn to companies which specialize in detecting and
preventing this activity.
Tools certified by the Media Rating Council (MRC) will meet the industry’s minimum
detection standards. Therefore, those seeking to eliminate fraud should aim to work
with MRC accredited vendors who specialize in the environment that applies to us (e.g.
desktop, mobile and connected TV).
Before onboarding a fraud detection vendor, it’s important to understand that each
company has developed its own proprietary technology, and therefore detection rates
In some extreme cases, a publisher and a marketer using a specific vendor may witness
different results for the same campaign. Therefore, fraud uncovered by these tools should
serve as a reliable but not exact indicator.
When partnering with these vendors, it’s crucial to ask for a trial period (usually paid)
in order to decide whether their detection technology is useful for your needs . It’s also
important to be in constant contact with their account management team, so as to
understand the full potential of the product being trialled.
The disappearance of fraud is not expected in the short term, however, the programmatic
ecosystem adapts and among all (agencies, DSPs, SSPs, publishers) work is being done
to minimize the negative impact it has on the entire sector.
Know what quality certifications our
traffic sources have obtained.
Work with companies specialized in
detection and prevention.
Tools with trial period.
Be in constant contact with the
That intermediaries are authorized
by the support.
Programmatic Adfraud for dummies
Tappx is a technology company specializing in
programmatic advertising solutions for the most
advanced digital platforms.
Among its services offer include promotion and
monetization on mobile devices, advanced TV /
OTT advertising services and a portfolio of products
aimed at media agencies and direct advertisers.
Santiago Soengas, Strategic Partnerships -
Santiago Soengas is one of the first employees of
In Tappx, he has played roles in attracting advertisers,
and managing clients internationally.
In parallel, he is also responsible for incorporating
new data partners and implementing controls and
fraud prevention tools. His experience is mainly based on in-app advertising, working
with both video and display campaigns.
Tappx has managed to beat market standards by operating a truly programmatic service
without human intervention, completely transparent and free of risks.
Thanks to these three advances has been proclaimed as one of the fastest growing
technology companies in Spain (According to TECH5 and RED HERRING)
Programmatic Adfraud for dummies
Country Manager Spain & LATAM
Adfraud is also
49Adfraud is also human
In addition to fraud due to bots, spiders and other
actors, there is what we call human fraud...
...which is generated by the impressions served to consumers outside the target audience
in a programmatic campaign, and the waste of budget that it entails. The data used in
programmatic campaigns plays an essential role in avoiding human fraud.
There is no doubt that the primary condition for programmatic to deliver outstanding
results is to use quality data with the needed scale.
However, the reality today is that the combination of quality and scale is difficult to
achieve, and many advertisers have already experienced that there are very few data
providers that can meet both conditions.
On one hand, some companies have high-quality data, but lack scale. On the other side,
there are those who use inferred or probabilistic data, taking a small sample of data and
extrapolating it to the entire population and sacrificing quality by scale.
Advertisers should look for “deterministic data”: a type of data that thanks to its origin
and collection method are known to be real since it is ID-verified, such as when users sign
up with their mobile operators or their banks.
Behavioral data such as visited websites, downloaded and used apps, phone usage bills
and others can be observed directly with phone usage, but as far as socio-demographic
data is concerned, they can be directly obtained from the user’s ID.
It is not an easy task to find the best data in the market that combines quality/precision
That’s why it is essential for advertisers to make an extra effort and work closely with
their data providers.
On one hand, some
companies have high-
quality data, but lack
On the other hand, there are
those who use inferred and
probabilistic data, taking
a small sample of data
and extrapolating it to the
entire population, sacrificing
quality by scale
50Adfraud is also human
Understand the nature of the data and its collection
Firstly, I would recommend that they understand both the nature
of the data and its collection methods since these two factors
largely determine the accuracy of the data.
For instance, the data that has been verified with the user’s ID
and comes from trusted organizations such as banks, telecoms
or e-commerce sites, will always be more accurate than inferred
or probabilistic data coming from other sources.
Understand the data providers internal processes
I would also suggest that they take the time to understand the
internal processes that each data provider has implemented to
ensure consistent data quality even when volumes increase.
Data quality tests (both internal and external), data prioritization
and data updates are some examples of the types of
methodologies and processes that can help brand marketers
make a final decision.
Carry out database audits
Finally, another step that can be taken is to carry out database
audits to determine the levels of attribute precision per provider,
and to give full transparency and confidence to advertisers.
There are different non-profit organizations and official verifiers,
such as the AIMC in Spain, that can carry out such audits to
ensure any provider’s data precision.
51Adfraud is also human
Zeotap unites the world’s most valuable data to fuel
growth. The first company to win 9 major telecom
operators around the world as data partners, zeotap
has since become the leader in sourcing, refining and
distributing high-quality data from large enterprises.
The global data platform aggregates deterministic high-
quality data at scale from unique sources for better
audience targeting, insights and identity matching.
Zeotap’s patented telecoms and enterprise-powered
mobile-first identity graph also enables deterministic
offline-to-online matching, including the activation and
enrichment of client CRMs.
Marc Ginjaume - Country Manager Spaint & LATAM -
Marc has developed his career in the digital and
technology world since the beginning of his professional
After graduating as a Bachelor and Master in Business
Administration and Management from ESADE, Marc joined
Google Dublin as Key Account Manager, moving to LATAM
years later to continue growing as an Agency Relationship
Manager in the region. Then, he worked in Linkedin as
Head of Business Development in LATAM, Spain and
Portugal, finishing perfecting his industry know-how.
After his international experience in large Internet
companies, he joined Zeotap, with the mission of
democratizing the deterministic data in the mobile
FaqFraud is a non-profit organization, founded in order to offer support to all companies,
from SMEs to large companies, in everything related to advertising fraud in the era of
We have noticed that, when it comes to fraud, the unknown is much bigger than what is
known and this, is exactly the reason why Linicom with Adobe, Rubicon Project, Xaxis,
Amnet Iberia, Nugg.ad (to Zalando Media company), IAS, Vocento and Zeotap have
Collaboration agreements have also been established with trade associations such as
MMA Spain. These companies that have knowledge about the complete digital advertising
funnel and that have experts in the field to answer any questions that may have in relation
to fraud are at the service of all companies that are related to the advertising sector.
Founder and Managing Director
Juan Antonio Muñoz-Gallego
Advice Information Anti Fraud tools
Advice and help from
Q&A to the most
common questions of
Tools and guides for the
detection of fraud
Spain - mmaspain.com
Global - mmaglobal.com
Spain Forum - puremobile.es
Plaza Carlos Trías Bertrán 7, planta 0
Comprised of over 800 member
companies globally and 14 regional
offices, the MMA is the only mobile trade
association that brings together the full
ecosystem of marketers, tech providers
and sellers working collaboratively to
shape the future.
The MMA’s global headquarters are
located in New York with regional
operations in Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe/
Middle East/Africa (EMEA), and Latin
By participating on our board and joining committees with representation and
engagement from the highest levels you’ll be exposed to peers, experts and
thought leaders from across the full ecosystem of marketers, tech providers, and
sellers for more in-depth insight into issues and solutions.
With our Smarties
Awards, we have the
world’s only global
creativity and success.
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With over 24 global
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together to define
and lead the future
56MMA Spain Board - 2018-2019
Senior Managing Director & Lead
Accenture Interactive Iberia
Country Manager Spain
B2C Director and Sales Director
Spain, Portugal and Turkey
AVP Customer Success EMEA &
Director de Marketing y Acciones
Multimedia en CMVOCENTO
Country Manager Spain
Commercial Director Spain
NTT Docomo Group
Analytical Consultant Mobile
MMA members with presence at Spain
Clear Channel Outdoor
Experian Marketing Services
Ford Motor Co
Glaxo Smith Kline
IBM Watson Advertising
JP Morgan Chase & Co
KANTAR Millward Brown
Mapfre Insurance Company
Media Rating Council (MRC)
Procter & Gamble
Safe Auto Insurance Company
SAP Digital Interconnect
The Coca Cola Company
Universal Parks & Resorts
Havas Media France
The Valley DBS
Worldline (an ATOS company)
Actitud de Comunicación
Ceca Magan Asociados
Made in Mobile