Shine Technologies has hired a new CRO tasked with working with brands, agencies, publishers and trade organizations to help them ensure their ads reach real audiences.

Shine Technologies made headlines recently when it tested its network-level ad blocking tech with UK mobile provider Three, and now the company is looking to work with advertisers and agencies to help them reach their audiences. Shine just announced that ad tech veteran James Collier would join the company as Chief Revenue Officer and will be helping to develop their “ad verification platform” for advertisers.

Ad blocking is a growing threat to the digital advertising industry and to publishers who rely on ads for most, if not all, of their revenue. A recent PageFair report showed that more than 400 million people are using mobile ad blockers and the use of ad blockers grew 90 percent from 2016 to 2017.

Shine has been a leader in developing network-level ad blocking software that enables mobile carriers to offer their customers the option of blocking ads at the network level without using any ad blocking software on their device. The company already works with Three Group and Caribbean telco Digicel, making its technology available to over 100 million phone subscribers and Shine says it is in talks with other mobile carriers that could expand its reach to 500 to 800 million subscribers.

While Shine’s initial focus was on blocking bad ads that often slow web page loads and eat up mobile data plans, now the tech company wants to target what it calls “malvertising” ads that install malicious software on consumers’ devices without their knowledge or consent. This software can be used to gain information about consumers and to turn their computers into “bots” that will be used in ad fraud schemes. And its use is on the rise, according to a recent survey by ExchangeWire and The Media Trust, 76 percent of the media industry members surveyed felt that web-based malware attacks are increasing.

The ad industry has been shaken by recent reports of ad fraud and its cost to the industry. According to the Association of National Advertisers, advertisers are going to lose $7.2 billion globally to fake traffic from bots. Perhaps more troubling is that sourced traffic isn’t understood by publishers, advertisers, and agencies, with over 61 percent of respondents in one recent survey saying they were unfamiliar or only slightly familiar with the concept of sourced traffic.

“Our study shows that sourced traffic is not understood sufficiently by marketers,” said ANA President and CEO Bob Liodice. “Sourced traffic needs to be monitored carefully, and marketers must be increasingly diligent about their digital media buys.” This is what Shine is trying to do with their new approach and their new CRO. Before joining Shine, James Collier was Managing Director EMEA at AdTruth, and before that held positions at YuMe, Badoo, News Corp., and Google. He comes with experience and relationships that will help Shine show advertisers, agencies, and publishers that they want to work with them not
against them.

“I’m extremely excited to be joining Shine to help build a framework and technology that creates a transparent value exchange between advertisers, publishers, and consumers,” Collier said. “As an industry, we need to work together to deal with some of the most pressing issues in our marketplace, namely fraud and bad advertising practices that hamper both the publisher’s ability to generate revenue and brands from being able to attribute the right level of investment in mobile.”

The first new offering the company is rolling out will be a “brand-verification platform” that allows agencies and brands to upload their creations to a platform where it will be verified. The brands and agencies can then pay to have their ads served with the assurance that their ads will be seen by real people and not fake traffic. It may represent a shift for Shine, but the company said it is still committed to consumers first and to offering ways to opt-out of unwanted advertising.

Ultimately, ending fraudulent ad activity is good for consumers, good for advertisers, and good for publishers. Reducing the frustration consumers have with traditional digital advertising is also a good thing, and if Shine can find a way to work with brands, agencies, and publishers to create a more consumer-friendly ad environment everyone can win. But it remains to be seen how precisely the ad blocker will start helping advertisers serve ads and whether that will fundamentally change the company.