Programmatic ads come from a very complex supply chain that involves many different channels and parties. Billions of ads are served programmatically each day through an ecosystem that looks like this:


You, the publisher, are on the very right. Proper Media is one level before.

Malicious advertisers pose as legitimate advertisers (spoofing real brands or companies) and buy ads through DSPs (demand-side platforms) that eventually make their way downstream to publisher’s pages. Now, the ad exchanges and SSPs have quality checks and filters in place to prevent certain types of ads from getting through, but these malicious advertisers are very sophisticated – they figure out ways to bypass these blocks and get their ads to publishers’ pages. Publishers detect them and report them, and then the exchanges and the Ad Quality companies they work to reverse engineer a block. Then, the malicious advertisers come up with another way around it. It’s a lot like a game of whack-a-mole.

We come in on the very right of the infographic above, right below the Publisher. As you can see, there are a lot of places the ad passes through before it gets to us. Previously, we relied on the Ad Exchanges and SSPs to block bad ads as they were the ones passing them to us.  However, that wasn’t sufficient – so we began looking for a partner that specializes in blocking bad ads. 


How We Handle Bad Ads

We vetted multiple companies before we settled on Clean Creative. This is a relatively new partnership, which we do not offer as part of our initial product onboarding because not all sites get hit with bad ads and the Clean Creative service is not free. That being said, we are happy to offer it to our preferred partners at no cost right now. For comparison, publisher’s using PreBid – the open source header bidding wrapper – would receive the same type of bad ads and not have any free access to a specialized Ad Blocking solution.  


Report Your Redirect/Malware Issue Here


About Clean Creative

"Malvertising and auto-redirects are a growing challenge for digital publishers. Clean Creative™ was developed to solve the revenue impacts and negative consumer experience issues that publishers face as a result of malicious advertisements and redirects."

Proper Media has a special partnership with Clean Creative with exclusive discounted rates for their ad quality services. If you are interested in enabling Clean Creative on your site, please reach out to your Proper contact for pricing information.



The above is a very high-level overview of what happens, but it is an issue that exists across all programmatic advertising. Here a couple of additional resources:

https://www.wired.com/story/ pop-up-mobile-ads-surge-as- sites-scramble-to-stop-them/

https://adexchanger.com/ mobile/forced-mobile- redirects-take-users-dont- want-go/



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