Frequently Asked Questions

The Lightning Bolt tag (or “LB tag”) is a universal JavaScript tag that is placed across a client’s website to measure the connection between digital media and site interaction.

How It Works

When the LB tag is placed in a live environment, it pings the Xaxis analytics server and informs Xaxis what page is being viewed or action is being taken. The Xaxis server can then choose to recognize that ping and append additional dynamic elements to the page (which will be one or more tracking pixels and cookies). Because the tag is the same across all pages on the advertiser’s site, the decision-making on what pixels (if any) to load occurs in realtime within the Xaxis analytics server.

Tag Stability

The tag itself calls, which is a cdn account hosted on Akamai. Xaxis leverages Akamai’s CDN for file caching for the non-dynamic elements returned.

Tag and Page Load Time

The tag itself is approximately 30KB in size, and the content of the tag will be cached on subsequent loads. The initial download takes under 100ms, though subsequent page visits will return a HTTP 304 and utilize the cached version. On most high-speed connections the LB tag itself will load within 50ms.

If the LB tag is going to be loading in additional pixels (such as from the search tracking campaign, or from other media partners who wish to track the page), then there will be additional load time for each pixel. If your site has a strict cut-off time for all pixels to load, the Xaxis team can monitor the total load time of each page and take action if the load time exceeds a certain threshold. Xaxis leverages Catchpoint monitoring to measure load time of all elements of the LB tag, and if an alert is triggered, then that pixel can be removed from the Lightning Bolt tag on Xaxis’ end.

The optimal placement of the tag is within the footer, so the tag will load after the rest of the page and have little to no effect on user experience.

Tag Security

It is necessary that the Lightning Bolt tag is placed within a script tag that is loaded natively on the page DOM (and not enclosed within an Iframe) so that the tag is able to track the native environment, including referral URL and link and video clicks.
Though the tag is a JavaScript tag, it will not interfere with the proper functionality of the rest of the site and will not affect the site’s visual appearance.

The tag has a built-in feature to check page protocol before loading any pixels, so that the tag will never load non-secure content on secure pages. For this reason, the same tag can be placed on both your secure and non-secure pages. The tag has been successfully placed and utilized on a number of high-profile secure banking, financial, and retail sites.

Access to the content loading within the LB tag is controlled exclusively by the Xaxis Ad Operations and Technical Support teams.

Tag Privacy

The services provided by Xaxis and delivered through the server adhere to the highest privacy standards. We:

  • collect no Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
  • observe all opt-out requests from users
  • do not install any software programs whatsoever
  • use only Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) certified technology
  • Integration with 3rd party Tracking

    Though it is preferred that the tag is placed within the universal footer on the page so as to load natively on each page, the tag can also be loaded within 3rd party analytics files such as Omniture s_code.js and the Coremetrics AdTarget system. The tag will not prohibit or otherwise interfere with the tracking of any other 3rd party scripts you may be running on your site.

    Data Collection and Usage

    What data does Xaxis use?

    Collection, management and leverage of data represents a core part of the Xaxis business. Our Data Management Platform is the foundation for Xaxis’ audience buying solutions. Xaxis makes use of a highly sophisticated data management strategy, with data centers in Amsterdam, Frankfurt and on the West and East coast of the United States, as well as in Australia.

    The specific data used in each campaign will depend on the campaign objectives (e.g. Awareness v. Engagement v. Action), the availability of data, the country’s regulatory status, as well as the client’s contractual position relating to the collection and use of data.

    Where is the data collected, and how is it actioned?

    Xaxis collects the anonymous cookie-level data in its DMP. The data collected includes campaign data across all digital channels. Xaxis connects the various data points within the DMP to create one unique anonymous user ID. Xaxis actions this data by purchasing audiences across various digital channels to achieve optimal performance.

    How does Xaxis use data and technology to identify audiences?

    Xaxis identifies and targets users by utilizing 1st, 2nd and 3rd party data. Through this data, Xaxis is able to group and purchase users based on behavior “Audience Based Buying.” 1st Party data is collected from pixels or tags placed on advertiser website. 2nd Party data (campaign data) is collected from pixels or tags appended to creative ad unit. 3rd Party data (cookie based data) is purchased through companies such as BlueKai, where the company’s tag is placed on participating publisher/site pages.

    What kind of data are you collecting?

    Xaxis collects anonymous data about users’ interactions with advertisements. For example, a record may be made of the fact that a user has viewed or clicked on an advertisement. This data does not contain any contact details, nor does it enable Xaxis to identify an individual user – cookies are used to help build an anonymous profile of a user’s interests and categorize a user into interest-based audiences, but the user’s identity is not known to Xaxis.

    What kinds of information does Xaxis collect through its cookies?

    Through the Mookies on individual users’ browsers, Xaxis collects anonymous cookie-level (or user-level) data. Xaxis collects the following information through the Mookies, each time a tagged creative is served: geography, recency and frequency, the ad that was viewed, the site on which it was viewed, and any conversion history. This data is stored in Xaxis’ DMP and combined with 3rd party data sources.

    Data Storage (Xaxis DMP)

    How is the data stored?

    Mookie ID Digital Touch Point 1 Digital Touch Point 2 Digital Touch Point 3 Digital Touch Point ‘n’
    26036443 Display Ad Display Ad Browse Site Purchase
    23925397 Display Ad Display Ad Org Search Browse Site
    35837015 Display Ad Facebook Pd Search Purchase

    Who owns the campaign data?

    The client owns the data. Xaxis stores client data in our secure DMP and prevents any data leakage. Xaxis silos the data and prevents co-mingling between advertisers to protect an advertiser’s proprietary campaign data.

    Why is it important to own this data?

    It is important for the client to own the proprietary campaign data because it can serve as a competitive advantage. The large amount of campaign data is very valuable to an advertiser because it allows Xaxis’ algorithms to learn at scale and buy smarter. The data can provide insight for future campaigns and optimizations.

    As more and more campaigns are run with Xaxis, economies of learning and scale will take effect as the buying algorithms and targeting become more refined.

    How is the campaign data stored?

    Preserving the anonymous individual interactions by not aggregating any of the data allows Xaxis to provide unprecedented insight into consumer behavior while still keeping that data completely generic. Xaxis does not collect or store any personally identifiable information (PII).

    Does the Mookie expire?

    Yes. The Mookie expires after 13 months

    Xaxis Privacy Policy and PII

    What is a cookie?

    A cookie is a text-only piece of information that is stored within a user’s browser. Cookies have many uses, including customizing web pages, remembering logins, managing ad frequency, etc. Cookies are also used for the purpose of uniquely identifying that browser during audience activity and between visits or sessions. Cookies are generally specific to a single browser.

    What is a mookie?

    The domain in which Xaxis sets its cookies. “Mookie” is shorthand for and is the Xaxis cookie.

    Is the Mookie easily removed by the user browser?

    Users can opt-out of the Mookie at and by simply clicking the “opt out” tab. Also, if a user clears their browser cookies, the Mookie is also cleared.

    What is considered PII?

    PII generally refers to identifying information such as an individual’s name, mailing address, phone number or e-mail address. Xaxis does not collect personally identifiable information ("PII") from users online through advertisements we manage on behalf of our clients

    What information does the mookie collect about the page?

    The Mookie collects no information from the Page. It only collects information about the ad placement.

    Does it get any PII about the user including IP address?

    The ZAP tag and the Mookie do not collect any PII about the user. The User’s IP address is logged but is not passed to any further databases and is not associated with the Mookie ID in the Xaxis Data Management Platform (DMP).

    What is Non PII?

    Xaxis does collect Non PII. For instance, by using Non-PII, we may be able to identify a computer that has previously seen an advertisement we launched on behalf of a client. In the context of Non-PII, whenever we refer to ‘you’ or ‘yours,’ please remember that we are referring to a computer and not an identifiable person.

    Is Xaxis compliant with industry regulations?

    Yes. Together with GroupM, Xaxis supports and implements the ‘adchoices’ icon into its campaign creative. Xaxis is also a member of NAI to further its support of protecting the privacy and protection of its users with “opt out”.

    The overall benefit is more relevant advertising and provides users with the option to opt out of receiving certain types of advertisements. i.e do not show me apparel ads.

    Can my clients maintain data privacy?

    Yes, data sharing options are up to the client as they own the data. As part of GroupM, Xaxis guarantees security from data leakage.

    Will data from my campaigns be kept confidential? Will it be used for other clients?

    1. Data collected from clients’ own websites

      This is only used for the benefit of that specific client. It is never used with other clients unless the client specifically agrees (e.g. two clients may want to take advantage of a joint marketing / cross-selling opportunity). The data is stored confidentially within the Xaxis database..
    2. Data collected from third party (publisher) websites

      Anonymous users are classified into audiences using data derived from the campaigns of multiple clients. These audience classifications are used internally by Xaxis to compile aggregate statistics and trend data to optimize campaign delivery for multiple clients, and in an anonymous database for media planning purposes for multiple clients.

      However, all data is stored confidentially within the Xaxis database; it is never supplied to other clients. Nor will our use of data ever identify any client to any other client. The data is about users, not about clients: e.g. client X can order a campaign that is targeted at an audience that is interested in cars, but not a campaign that is targeted at an audience that is interested in client Y.

      Each client benefits from the advantages of better campaign targeting as the confidential Xaxis databases develop over time by accumulating anonymous data deriving indirectly from the campaigns of multiple clients.
    3. Data collected by campaign partners (sub-contractors)

      Some types of Xaxis campaign may involve the GroupM DSP provider sub-contractors to collect/process anonymous user data on its behalf. Such contractors are subject to the same obligations in respect of the data as the GroupM DSP provider.