Criteo: What’s Their Reputation in the Programmatic Space?

Since its development, Criteo has become a company that is a global leader in commerce marketing. So, if it is such a major player in the industry, should you try running your programmatic ads on Criteo?

There are two sides to the question that we can consider. 

On the positive side, it is always great to test, test, test! Only by trying out different things will you know what works best when working on specific projects. Test different networks—test everything! You never know what will or won’t work until you try it. Additionally, Criteo is one of the classics. You know the huge, “no one was ever fired for hiring IBM,” think about a variation based on Criteo: no one was ever fired for using Criteo. 

However, as always, we have to consider the downsides of using it. 

To quote Business Insider, “3.6% of Criteo’s users are generating 25% of its clicks — a level so disproportionate that it is ‘indicative of adware, bots, click farms’ or some other fraud.” The truth is, it is very, very hard to rebut that fact. This statement alone implies the use of massive fraud, on such a major scale that it is impossible to fight — and likely involves the complicity of the company. 

It is also important to note that the company has had a large number of lawsuits against them, precisely about click fraud-related issues. Such as the lawsuit between Criteo and the independent U.S. firm SteelHouse.

If you want more insight into the company and how it operates, you can go ahead and check out their blog. However, a couple of quick skims on their blog posts may lead you to the conclusion that life is peachy roses in their perspective. They don’t seem to be dealing with or trying to solve deep issues, both within the industry and beyond. 

Other considerations of experiences with the company may lead to the discovery of worrisome results.

There is always the possibility of working with clients who insist on using certain ad-platforms. Even after warning them that it might not be in their best interest but if your client insists, why not?

But without the insistence of clients, it is always important that you weigh the positives and negatives of a network. Not even to jump into it and use it — but to see whether it’s worth it to even spend your time testing it!

It is important to know that swimming with sharks may lead to many people getting eaten alive. Yet, you’ll find that the strongest survive — and even thrive. Perhaps it is a good idea to swim with sharks once you are ready and strong, not when you’re a newbie who’s learning to swim. If so, an effective strategy before jumping into anything too quickly might be to start with, say, AdWords display. Eventually, you’ll find you’re prepared to work your way up to more challenging platforms, such as Criteo. 

If anyone has an experience with Criteo—either positive or negative—that they would like to share, including screenshots. Leave a comment or drop us a line. We are happy to add them to this post to inform others in the industry. 

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