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Glossary of Mobile Advertising Terms

Advertiser Blacklisting

What is Advertiser Blacklisting?

Advertiser Blacklisting is a process where publishers block certain advertisers from accessing their site or app. Usually, advertisers who are blacklisted are competitors, although blacklisting can also be used to combat inappropriate content. Various things can be blocked like URLs for landing pages or specific brands.

Why do publishers blacklist certain advertisers?

It’s a beneficial process for publishers but as with everything, if used poorly, it will do more damage than good. It’s especially useful in real-time bidding auctions, as publishers don’t know in advance who’s going to buy ad impressions on their website. Some ad networks also provide blacklisting as an option to publishers.

How does Advertiser Blacklisting work?

Here’s a short example of how it works. During the bidding process, SSPs (supply-side platforms) are trying to identify the source of the ad. When it identifies the source it then checks if the winning bid is from the blacklisted advertiser, and if it is, the next bid is regarded as a winning bid.

Blacklisting shares a lot of similarities to whitelisting (check the whitelisting definition for more info) which is basically a list of allowed advertisers as opposed to blocked advertisers. Depending on the publisher's preference one option might be better than the other, but both options are useful if used properly.

We conducted a case study with Lotum, looking at the effect of advertisers on eCPM, churn and which advertisers were stealing traffic and in turn, which advertisers should have been blacklisted.