Ad Fraud and Brand safety are intertwined in the same murky bucket as agencies that cannot, or will not provide its clients with an opaque audit trail, pre, and post campaigns.
Video ad spend was projected to hover at USD$15.4bn (£11.7bn) in 2018; and while that budget constitutes only 45% of total ad spend, it’s targeted by 64% of all ad fraud; according to a Forrester study.
In-app spend reached USD$62bn (£47.3bn), capturing 80% of all mobile ad dollars, so it is no surprise that fraudsters are targeting this lucrative market; with 21% of mobile app impressions in 2018 indicated as fraudulent.
As for said ad fraud I suspect that the real reason for a slight reduction (it's currently $5.8bn+) is its more to do with ad blocking and ad skipping, along with people becoming weary of content feeds that are littered with intrusive ads, so they simply scroll on. I also suspect that an awful lot of 'ad fraud' is carried out via mobile rather than desktop.
As ad fraud tactics evolve, they grow more innovative and spread to emerging channels. In-app fraud is especially prevalent because it is deployed in unprecedented ways, in a lesser understood space. While desktop bots are deployed through malware, in-app fraud is propagated through bad apps downloaded from trusted sources (i.e. the App Store, Play Store) — and the traditional, web-based detection methods, that have historically worked, are rendered inadequate. It is worth remembering that there’s no catch-all fraud solution that can be lifted from desktop and grafted seamlessly onto mobile in-app, because web fraud and mobile fraud behave differently.
One (unlikely) answer could be that when the authorities capture these fraudsters, who utilise 'bot farms' to click on these ads a million times an hour, for the same 'bot farms' to be set up to perform the reverse of the click, and can be used to close down that tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny x in the top right corner, because at the moment millions of people are also unwittingly clicking on that crap ad by mistake.
Or, you could simply save yourself millions of £££$$$ in advertising spend and take a long hard look at something that doesn't involve ad fraud, brand safety, a database, an external agency and can get you front of mind with your customers every time.
We don't do retainers, we are not an agency that creates and produces copy/content or sells ads for you.
We are active 'practitioners' of what we do, we already know and can evidence the ROI of a robust and internally aligned 'Social' strategy.
Part of that evidence it that you are reading this blog, just like many others - including your competitor!
We also don't do outbound pushy, salesy marketing, so if you would like to explore more, please contact the author of this blog.
It is not a question of whether there is an issue with fraud and brand safety; it is more a question of just how big an issue ad fraud and brand safety is to our industry. It’s happening.