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What Is The AAM Digital Publisher Audit?

February 22, 2021 Sarah Cavill

The Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) introduced a third-party audit program for digital publishers. According to the AAM, “The AAM Digital Publisher Audit is a new audit solution designed to identify publishers who provide advertisers with quality platforms and valid human audiences. Without publisher audits, it is difficult for marketers to distinguish legitimate publishers from fraudulent ones in the marketplace.”

How Will The AAM Certify Publishers?

The AAM Digital Publisher Audit certifies publishers by “verifying traffic sources and analyzing their business operations and site traffic.” Once a publisher has completed the AAM Digital Publisher Audit, that publisher will become a part of the AAM Audited Domain List, which is a file of all the publishers who have completed the AAM certification. The AAM will continuously monitor website traffic “to provide ongoing assurance.”

What Benefits Does The AAM Digital Publisher Audit Offer Media Buyers And Advertisers?

“The marketing industry has made significant progress in bringing transparency and accountability to digital media buying, but the war on ad fraud continues. The AAM Digital Publisher Audit is a major step toward providing assurances at the publisher level,” said Bob Liodice, CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). The AAM Digital Publisher Audit offers reassurances to media buyers and advertisers that they are advertising with a credible publisher that provides accurate tracking metrics. Additionally, the AAM Digital Publisher Audit “differentiate[s] quality publishers and give[s] marketers a common signal to evaluate those publishers,” said Tom Drouillard, AAM CEO. The AAM Audited Domain List gives media buyers a jumping off point for selecting and prioritizing publishers. This AAM Digital Publisher Audit is most important for advertisers buying CPM-based advertising, with impression transparency less important for brands choosing pay-for-performance advertising solutions. 

According to AAM, by “working cohesively with other industry solutions, Digital Publisher Audits provide a new layer of independent, third-party assurance by providing marketers with assurance, control and improved ROI.” (See image.)

Who Will Have Access To The AAM Digital Publisher Audit?

All AAM clients through 2021 will have access to the AAM Digital Publisher Audit for free, to ensure that “cost is not a barrier for widespread publisher adoption to maximize this opportunity for marketers,” explained Drouillard. In addition to support from the ANA, “the Meredith Corporation, American City Business Journals and The Globe and Mail are among the publishers that participated in creation of the audit.” It is likely that it will take some time for publishers to determine if the AAM Digital Publisher Audit is right for them and complete the certification process. Advertisers should continue to rely on trusted publishers that have proven performance, with historical performance KPIs being the most obvious way to estimate future performance.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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