In a study conducted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and White Ops, the study predicted ad fraud cost advertisers $7.2 billion last year. And in a survey of US digital display ads, Integral Ad Science identified 8.3% of all ad impressions as fraudulent, compared with 2.4% of publisher-direct sold ads. DoubleVerify reports that over 50% of digital ads are never seen.
What are the Types of Ad Fraud?
- Impression (CPM) Ad Fraud – fraudsters hide ads in a 1×1 pixel or stack ads on top of one another to multiply the impressions that an advertisement is seeing on a site.
- Search (CPC) Ad Fraud – fraudsters develop fake websites, sometimes automatically, that utilize high cost-per-click keywords in the content to drive the most expensive ads to their own sites.
- Affiliate (CPA) Ad Fraud (AKA Cookie Stuffing) – sites often pay by users taking an action, so fraudsters programmatically manufacture a false action to trick the ad system into believing there was activity.
- Lead (CPL) Ad Fraud (AKA Conversion Fraud) – believe it or not, fraudsters can actually pay users less money to fill out forms than they do in getting paid for the conversion… resulting in fake, profitable leads.
- Ad Injection and AdWare Fraud – fraudsters utilize toolbars or malware to inject ads into the browsing experience of real users, producing more ad impressions and higher click-through rates.
- Domain Spoofing or Laundered Ad Impression Fraud – fraudsters programmatically change the URLs of sites to make advertisers think fake or piracy or porn sites are really the sites of reputable publishers.
- CMS Fraud – fraudsters hack or place malware in a publisher’s content management system that creates their own pages using perfectly legitimate domains.
- Re-Targeting Fraud – bots imitate actual visitors and create impressions and clicks on the retargeting campaigns being run.
- Traffic Fraud or Audience Extension Fraud – publishers buy highly segmented traffic to inflate the number of impressions needed to fulfill the advertising campaign.
If you'd like to read about these types of ad fraud in detail, check out John Wilpers article, What are the nine types of digital ad fraud?
Ad Fraud Solutions:
The three companies mentioned above are also the leaders in the Ad Fraud solutions space.
- Integral Ad Science – accredited by the Media Rating Council, Integral Ad Science's solutions cover mobile web, mobile in-app ads, desktop, display and video ad fraud detection. Their proprietary technology and optimization provides you a means to reduce waste on your media plan by blocking ads from ever being served on fraudulent web pages and stopping bids on fraudulent impressions in real-time.
- DoubleVerify Pinnacle – evaluates the quality of each impression delivered and the net result of each quality measure. The platform also simplifies optimization decisions by providing in-depth analysis and real-time visualization for driving your impression quality.
- WhiteOps FraudSensor and MediaGuard – FraudSensor analyzes all platforms and assesses 1,000+ browser signals. Accredited by MRC for sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) detection. MediaGuard MediaGuard is an API solution that evaluates every request for a bid or ad impression in milliseconds and provides a programmatic pre-bid blocking defense to fraudulent purchases.
About the Media Rating Council
MRC is a non-profit industry association established in 1963 composed of leading television, radio, print and Internet companies, as well as advertisers, advertising agencies and trade associations whose goal is to ensure measurement services that are valid, reliable and effective.