Case Study: How OpenX Increased the Number of MFA Domains Excluded in Direct Deals With MiQ by 37 Percent

By OpenX in Brands & Agencies, Transparency|July 24, 2023

A Consistent, Customized Approach to MFA Leads to Increased Audience Curation for Buyers.

The Challenge: 

Often marked by overlapping ad placements around content, “evergreen” articles that lack a listed post date and aren’t updated often, and no author or publisher information included on the articles or on the site, made for advertising (MFA) sites have become an increasing source of consternation in digital advertising.

As the number of MFA domains grows, the ecosystem lacks an industry-wide standard for defining MFA. Without alignment across the programmatic landscape on how to define and detect low-quality inventory, no one can wave a magic wand to eliminate MFA from the marketplace altogether.

Because of this, it’s important to have tools in place that allow buyers to take action on MFA. Increased transparency in the buying process allows marketers to take an active stance on the quality of media they are purchasing while recognizing that not all buyers universally agree on what constitutes MFA.

The Solution:

Over the past year, OpenX has been implementing processes to identify and categorize MFA sites in its deals as well as for any new publishers looking to work with OpenX. 

To build a layer of standardization, OpenX has partnered with Jounce Media, a leading source for consistent definitions of inventory quality standards. By doing so, the company is taking an important step in prioritizing inventory quality, sustainability, and customer satisfaction. Through this effort between the OpenX’s Marketplace Quality teams and Jounce Media, OpenX has started to block known MFA traffic on Auction Packages running through OpenX.

“A growing number of brands and agencies are finding that MFA inventory is a poor use of campaign funds,” said Chris Kane, Founder, Jounce Media. “This dimension of supply-side targeting and audience curation by OpenX protects buyers and reflects the company’s commitment to building a quality and sustainable marketplace.”

Because there is no single, definitive list of MFA domains, some buyers may have different proprietary sets of domains they wish to include or exclude. For this reason, it’s important for buyers to be empowered to leverage their own MFA domain lists alongside a consistently defined and industry-established source such as Jounce Media’s. The result is a step toward standardization without disallowing customization in what buyers define as MFA.

In a pilot of this approach, OpenX and MiQ, a leading programmatic media partner for marketers and agencies, worked together to remove MFA from all deals with MiQ. To accomplish this, MiQ provided their own customized MFA list, which was then paired with the existing list of domains designated as MFA by Jounce Media. Rather than simply eliminating MFA that appeared on one list, OpenX was able to combine the two lists and exclude any domains that appeared on either list.

OpenX leverages the Jounce Media MFA domain list as the standard baseline, and in its continued commitment to inventory quality and transparency, the SSP has committed to eliminating MFA domains in all direct-sold deals by default.

“In creating a powerful combination of industry standards and buyer-specific input in identifying and blocking MFA domains in direct deals, OpenX is making it easier for buyers to curate audiences while prioritizing inventory quality, sustainability, and customer satisfaction across direct deals,” said Matt Sattel, SVP of Buyer Development, OpenX.

The Results:

By excluding any domains that appeared on either Jounce Media’s or MiQ’s MFA list, OpenX was able to increase the number of MFA domains excluded by 37 percent.

In a single day, MiQ and OpenX were able to identify and eliminate nearly 1600 unique domains from direct deals. Of the domains eliminated, less than one-third appeared on both MiQ’s and Jounce Media’s lists, serving as a reminder that when various parts of the ecosystem work together, we can maximize potential.

“To-date we’ve had to identify & exclude MFA inventory manually across our campaigns, but with our SSP partners now helping remove MFA upstream, MiQ and our clients can have additional peace of mind on ongoing inventory quality and suitability,” said Lara Koenig, Global Head of Product, MiQ. “We’re grateful to have a partner like OpenX that’s responsive to feedback and that we can collaborate on projects with to make the industry more effective.”

By empowering MiQ to automate MFA exclusion in a way that is both standardized and applies nuance, OpenX is providing a solution that makes it simpler for buyers to curate their audiences effectively.

About MiQ

We’re MiQ, a leading programmatic media partner for marketers and agencies. We connect data from multiple sources to do interesting, exciting, business problem-solving things for our clients. We’re experts in data science, analytics and programmatic trading, and our team of people are always ready to react and solve challenges quickly, to make sure you’re always spending your media investments on the right things in the right places. You can find out more here:

About Jounce Media

Jounce Media is the industry leader in programmatic supply path optimization and is trusted by the world’s largest brands, agencies, media companies, and advertising technology platforms to enable high efficiency programmatic trades. Through industry-leading research and fully transparent supply chain data, Jounce arms buyers and sellers with an information advantage to identify and avoid value-extracting RTB auctions. Learn more at