Impact Radius, a marketing attribution and analytics platform, today acquired Forensiq, a company that aims to expose and remove fraudulent traffic from online ads, for an undisclosed sum.

Company officials told CMSWire the combined platforms will create a trusted system of record for marketers to manage and optimize their digital campaigns and "reveal insights that are not polluted by fraudulent data."

AI Investment

"It integrates Forensiq's ad blocking with our system of record," said Per Pettersen, CEO of Impact Radius. The eight-year-old New York City-based company will combine its 230 employees with 45 from Forensiq.

Pettersen said he looks forward to developing artificial intelligence technologies and "pioneering the new digital currency of attribution."

“Exposing and removing fraudulent traffic across devices and ecosystems will create a more pure, real-time data hub for media buyers, analysts and executives to stay on the same page, share granular insights and maximize marketing ROI," he added.

Beating Ad Fraud

David Sendroff, founder and CEO of Forensiq, told CMSWire that when brands buy impressions there are many layers between the brand and where that impression is generated. Forensiq's main focus is building ad fraud detection.

"There is not a lot of transparency," he said. "Many publisher websites in the programmatic world are increasing their impression count by buying cheap traffic, and it happens to be non-human or have other sorts of issues where it may not be brand safe. Pages or ads are hidden beneath other elements on the page. There is no opportunity for ads to be seen by a human or they are in an area you wouldn't want your brand to show up."'

Learning Opportunities


Forensiq come in before brands make decisions to buy impressions. It can provide a real-time determination of the quality of ads and "save brands a lot of money on that inventory," Sendroff said. It's fraud detection technology analyzes signals from more than 4 trillion monthly events across desktop and mobile devices.

Mobile Focus

Last year, Forensiq released a report on mobile device hijacking, a tactic used by mobile applications to steal revenue by rapidly loading hidden ads and emulating human behavior. While most desktop malware is installed unintentionally via deceitful techniques, most mobile apps are installed intentionally.

"What we found is that apps can also serve an illicit purpose, harming both advertisers and consumers," Forensiq officials said in the report.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) estimates that ad fraud costs the US marketing and media industry $8.2 billion each year. Impact Radius and Forensiq officials said having a single platform for brands and agencies to manage their advertising and marketing performance "will go a long way bridging the gap between advertising technology (AdTech) and marketing technology (MarTech)."