The conversation around Ad fraud has been growing rapidly over the past few years, hitting critical mass in early 2016. In that time, we’ve seen a large number of advertising agencies, ad tech platforms and affiliate networks disappear. Many times, this was due to an inability to stay ahead of fraudsters and the rapidly changing ad landscape.
Moreover, there has been significant backlash from major brand advertisers. For example, Procter & Gamble cut $750 million in budgets and cut agencies by 50% in 2017. In the Association of National Advertiser’s (ANA) recent ad fraud report, economic losses due to ad fraud in 2017 have been estimated to be upwards of $6.5 billion. The message is clear: Fighting fraud is no longer a feature but rather a requirement to stay in business.
Whether you are a publisher, advertiser or an ad tech platform, here are five ways you can fight ad fraud in 2018.
1. Utilise ad verification providers.
There are a number of major ad verification providers that provide protection against both general and sophisticated ad fraud. Major players include Integral Ad Sciences, Pixalate, WhiteOps and Forensiq. Today, utilizing more than one ad verification provider is common to ensure minimal gaps in fraud detection. In addition, Moat provides a great complimentary and widely-used solution that empowers its clients with real-time analytics about their ad campaigns and traffic.
2. Employ ads.txt.
The IAB’s ads.txt Initiative helps ad buyers avoid spoofed inventory while maximizing revenue and CPMs for legitimate publishers. Ads.txt was officially launched in 2017 and is currently in a rapid adoption phase. As of January 2018, 70% of top publishers have already implemented ads.txt.
3. Realise the importance of human review.
While it may be tempting to turn on an ad verification solution or two and forget about the rest, fighting ad fraud is a complex subject. It begins with properly vetting all partners, empowering partners with education surrounding ad fraud and utilizing at least one ad verification provider.