How do you deal with bad ads?

  • What are bad ads?
    • There are different kinds of “bad ads” across the Internet as ad quality continues to be an industry-wide issue. The most common categories we address are:
      • Competitor Ads
      • Inappropriate/Sensitive Ads
      • Redirects
      • Pop-Ups

Though these are the most common categories addressed, we have the ability to block any complaints around In-Banner Video, Auto-Audio, Auto-Video, etc.

  • What does Freestar do to block bad ads?
    • To help combat malicious ads, we partner with Confiant, a company that pioneered real-time adblocking. Confiant’s sole focus is on helping advertising platforms and publishers rid the world of malware. 
    • As for inappropriate or competitive ads that slip through category blocking parameters set in place, we have the ability to block these types of ads once we have a specific URL in which they are coming from.
    • Part of our relationship with Confiant allows us to get real-time malicious bid data on each of our ad partners, by device. We then take a rolling 7-day average of each partner's malicious bids by 5-cent bid buckets, and then set a global block if their average is above a certain percentage we set.

      To see even more detail on our bid bucket blocking, please read our blog post here.

  • What is Confiant’s real-time blocking?
    • Confiant’s solution is constantly scanning desktop, mobile, and video ads. Their technology detects malicious activity, but also actively blocks it. Confiant will review an ad as it is delivered to a webpage before it renders. If the advertisement violates a Blocking Specification that is activated, the advertisement will be blocked from rendering. Reviewing existing information gathered by the scanner isn't all that Confiant does. A malicious advertisement can detect if it's inside a scanning environment in order to not give itself away, opting to reveal its true self when it detects that it is delivering on a real webpage. Because of this, unique real-time methods must be employed to catch it. On the webpage, Confiant controls the advertisement's rendering, parsing through its code in order to detect anything malicious. This increases a website's strength to defend itself immensely.
  • Since we have Confiant enabled, does that mean we won’t see any malicious bad ads?
    • Even with Confiant enabled, it is possible for malicious ads to slip through the cracks. Attackers work every day at getting smarter at disguising bad ads as “safe”. 
    • While Confiant is continuously evolving their blocking abilities, there is still the chance that a new malicious attack can arise. In the case there is a new type of attack the information users and publishers collect can be used by Confiant to further advance and teach their systems to combat the attack.
    • Though Confiant is enabled, malicious advertisers are constantly evolving, therefore, ad blocking is often more reactive. If you come across a redirect on your site, let us know! We’ll ask for some details around the nature of the bad ads such as:
      • Date and Time of the ad’s appearance
      • Device ad was seen
      • Browser used
      • Which URL ad was seen on
      • Geo
    • Not only will we get that ad blocked, but your data will also help Confiant’s system become even more effective at malicious ad prevention.
  • You’ve come across a bad ad; what should you do next?
    • You can submit a bad ad experience form, which you can find here. In order for the form submission to be actionable, the user has to submit the form on the same device and browser they saw the bad ad. Form submissions will work in most cases where a 3rd party cookie is allowed.