Online ad fraud out of control

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  • “Ad fraud is at all time highs both in rate and in dollars,” says Augustine Fou, an independent ad fraud researcher. “And what’s worse is fraud detection is not catching it so people have a false sense of security.”
  • Arbitrage allows fraudsters buy cheap traffic and sell it at a premium — achieving gains of 25 times and 45 times return on investments.
  • The Financial Times discovered ad fraud of as much as $1 million a month going to fake FT.com sites, but managed to stop it by persuading 24 advertising exchanges to drop the fraudsters.
  • Much of the ad fraud could be blocked fairly easily, but that media buyers are paid by clients to lower the average cost of ads, and that means they buy cheap fraudulent traffic.

IAB has been lying to us. Agencies are lying even more. That’s according to the latest report on online ad fraud. It’s also effecting mobile as well and all this is coming at a time when brands are putting more money into programmatic online ad purchases.

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Ad fraud is at all time highs both in rate and in dollars, ” says Augustine Fou, an independent ad fraud researcher. “And what’s worse is fraud detection is not catching it so people have a false sense of security.”

Buying $183,000 of traffic can result in a $4.6 million payout . And that is just one campaign and one technique. The potential payout for the year is in the billions of dollars.

The Financial Times discovered ad fraud of as much as $1 million a month going to fake FT.com sites, but managed to stop it by persuading 24 advertising exchanges to drop the fraudsters. The extent of the problem is huge. Fraudsters are able to generate a larger inventory of pageviews than all the legitimate publishers combined.

Advertisers should focus on conversions as a metric , and low quality/suspicious traffic sources should be turned off at the start of a campaign and not at the end when being claimed as a refund.

Originally published at www.newmediaandmarketing.com on May 25, 2018.

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Marketing contrarian with over 15 years of developing leading edge and award winning digital marketing initiatives.

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