The 300×250 Unit & Video Ad Fraud: OpenX Stops Trading On Its Exchange

Ad Industry News
Last updated: July 12, 2019 | by Kean Graham
The 300x250 Unit & Video Ad Fraud

This post was most recently updated on July 12th, 2019

The 300×250 is a very popular ad unit among digital publishers monetizing content with digital advertising. In this week’s social video we discuss the popularity of the ad unit, how some sketchy characters in the advertising industry is using it for video ad fraud and how it lead to OpenX banning the ad unit. Find out more in the video below:

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Video transcription

Over the years the 300×250 ad unit has become one of the most commonly used ad units within the advertising industry.

With the rise of video advertising, it has also become an increasingly popular video ad unit within programmatic exchanges.

Almost a third of all video ad units sold programmatically use the 300×250 ad unit.

With its popularity, it’s also highly susceptible to ad fraud.

People started to realize that they could arbitrage cheap low demand 300×250 ad units with high-demand expensive video ads.

Here’s an example:

Someone buys a static 300×250 banner ad for $2 CPM adds a video player and then resells it as a $9 CPM video ad unit.

The process results in high levels of fraud. While advertisers are paying for a standard video, they are getting a 300×250 ad unit with their video ad squeezed in.

OpenX partnered with Pixalate to conduct a study into In-Banner Video with shocking results.

As a result of the study, OpenX announced that trade of 300×250 video ad units would no longer occur on its exchange.

Here are their reasons for the change:

A massive decline in video quality: the video is created for optimal aspect ratio but subsequently is jammed into the 300×250 format.

Highly fraudulent: the 300×250 ad unit is a hot target for fraudsters and is three times more likely than other video ad units to be fraudulent.

Pixalate indicated that roughly 11% of 300×250 video ads are deemed as invalid traffic compared to the standard rate at 8.5% for programmatic video ad units.


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