Digitas Exec Baba Shetty Is Starting A Research Firm; Small Pubs Struggle With Bad Traffic

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Programmatic Adviser For Hire

DigitasLBi Chief Media Officer Baba Shetty will leave his role to start his own research and advisory firm, Invisible Science. The company will be a subscription-based membership service that helps clients sift through the more than 3,500 vendors in today’s ad tech marketplace to find the technology that best serves their needs. “It’s all around a sense of confusion and anxiety about, are we getting the intersection of marketing and technology right?” Shetty told Adweek. “What we are trying to do is create indispensable guidance for the modern marketer.” More. Related in AdExchanger: A Marketer’s Guide To Ad Tech Consultants.

Bad Traffic Vs. “Sourced” Traffic

Not all sourced traffic is bad, but most bad traffic is sourced. Where does that leave the legitimate indie publishers who rely on networks that help build their audiences? Modern Farmer is a respected pub with a small but valuable readership, and Vice’s digital ad network is “literally an extension of our sales team,” Modern Farmer CRO Jane Wladar tells Ad Age’s Jeremy Barr. It’s just one of many new publishers that have become casualties in the war on bad traffic. More.

Bot Craze

Chat bots have better retention and reach with consumers because they integrate on the platforms users already have and use, rather than requiring an install. For brands, bots are an increasingly enticing way to drive commerce through messaging platforms like Facebook’s Messenger, Kik and other environments. “All current directories are owned by the platforms themselves, having one central place not owned by the platform just made sense,” said Botlist co-creator Ben Tossell. “People can find all types of bots across a variety of platforms.” More.

Just A Bug?

Fraudulent advertisers continue to use big ad platforms as a jumping-off point. Last week we noted a BuzzFeed exposé that detailed how purveyors of knockoff apparel have brazenly used Facebook ads to commit fraud. On Friday, Kenny Jacobs, CMO of the European airline Ryanair, attacked Google in a Guardian column, alleging the search giant has promoted scammy booking services (who pay) to the top of the page. Twitter has also fallen prey to a new loophole where junk services piggyback on legitimate influencers to push their own links.  

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