By 2022, it is anticipated that digital ad fraud will have cost brands approximately $44 billion in illegal operations, accounting for up to 45 percent of overall spending. Because the rise of digital advertising has coincided with a dramatic surge in ad fraud, the industry needs immediate attention and education on brand safety and fraud protection challenges.
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In tandem with the expansion of India’s digital economy, the growth of digital advertising has also increased, contributing to an increase in the possibility of ad fraud. Every year, from November 14th to November 21st, International Fraud Awareness Week is commemorated all over the world to raise awareness and educate people about fraud prevention. In an effort to promote awareness and speed efforts to reduce the impact of fraud, mFilterIt, a leading worldwide digital brand safety and prevention platform, today released a list of fallacies around ad fraud and brand safety.
Mr. Dhiraj Gupta, Co-Founder & CTO, mFilterIt, commented on the publication of Ad Fraud Myths, saying, “One of the most effective instruments in the battle against Ad Fraud is awareness.” It is critical for brands and decision-makers to be aware of the seriousness of this issue and to take responsibility for their financial resources, which are limited. In this digital age, it is a proven fact that the majority of frauds are committed within the complex digital labyrinth. To commemorate International Fraud Awareness Week, we are releasing a set of myths that must be debunked in order to combat this menace and move us closer to a more secure and safe digital economy.
Overall, digital advertising accounts for approximately 30% of total advertising spend in India, although it is predicted to expand at a rate of 25% per year, compared to a global average of 9% per year. As businesses transfer their advertising dollars from traditional to digital media, it is expected that ad fraud will increase from the current average of 25–35 percent to 45–55 percent. The mFilterIt Brand Safety Report 2021 found that the top problems for ad fraud were issues such as awareness (42 percent), brand infringement (23 percent), fraud (12 percent), investment (12 percent), and placement (all of which were ranked first) (11 percent). According to industry estimates, the cost of digital ad fraud is predicted to be $44 billion in fraudulent activities for advertisers and brands by 2022.
- 1 Myths that are prevalent in advertising fraud and brand safety
- 1.1 There is no such thing as advertising fraud.
- 1.2 Across the publisher ecosystem, only 2% of transactions are fraudulent
- 1.3 In order to detect advertising fraud, impressions and viewability are used as sources of measurement
- 1.4 Fourth, publisher reports provide a clear view of how the Brand has spent its marketing funds in different areas
- 1.5 There is no deception or fraud at Walled Gardens
- 1.6 Brand Safety analyses based on English language data provide regional context.
- 1.7 There is no advertising fraud in relation to performance campaigns
- 1.8 The vast majority of traffic is clear, and the vast majority of BOTS may be easily identified
- 1.9 Brand safety has absolutely nothing to do with return on investment and is a needless expense
- 1.10 The advertiser has complete control over all of the channels
Myths that are prevalent in advertising fraud and brand safety
The myths connected with operating digital campaigns are highlighted in the next section, as is the importance of debunking these unacknowledged, unaccounted for, and underrepresented myths.
There is no such thing as advertising fraud.
When it comes to digital advertising campaigns, either the decision-makers are unaware that ad fraud is draining their funds or fraudulent traffic is ignored as usual because there is no foreseeable solution to the issue. Illegal traffic (IVTs) is generated by bots, virtual private networks/proxies, click injection, cookie stuffing, or any other type of non-human traffic, and advertisers profit from this. In a recent study, researchers discovered that humans account for only 36% of all web traffic. 35-45 percent of fraud is recognized in the BFSI, OTT & Media, Gaming & Ed Tech industries, and this is true both on mobile applications and on the web.
Across the publisher ecosystem, only 2% of transactions are fraudulent
A large number of consumers estimate that ad fraud accounts for around 2 percent of their total advertising budget on average. This is a huge misunderstanding in the ad ecosystem that has been created by the publisher community as a means of avoiding distributing counterfeit ad inventory. The 2 percent figure appears to be so little that advertisers and marketers don’t pay attention to it because it doesn’t account for a substantial amount of advertising loss. Contrary to popular belief, the rates of invalid traffic are alarmingly high, and they are increasing. Actually, the actual fraud rate on walled gardens can range between 15-18 percent, while the true fraud rate on affiliates can range between 22-35 percent.
In order to detect advertising fraud, impressions and viewability are used as sources of measurement
If the majority of an advertiser’s expenditures are made using a CPC-based traffic model, would impression and viewability-based fraud analysis be effective in meeting its objectives? When it comes to fraud analysis, brands must consider going throughout the funnel and using the “follow-the-money” method. If your payment model is based on CPC, CPA, CV, or CPI, for example, your fraud detection system must be based on these measures as well and not be related to impressions. According to global estimates, over 18 percent of all ad impressions are never viewed by real individuals in their entirety.
Fourth, publisher reports provide a clear view of how the Brand has spent its marketing funds in different areas
Publisher reports do not include any verification of ad placement reports or whether or not the ads were really executed on those placements. There is an inconsistency in the data integrity of these figures. It is vital to note that an ad placement report is frequently obtained from the publishers themselves, i.e., the individuals who are actually responsible for placing the ad and receiving payment for doing so. As a result, due to a conflict of interest, it is impossible to identify the exact number of incorrect ad placements.
There is no deception or fraud at Walled Gardens
Walled gardens are not completely blameless in this entire scenario. The proportion of fake traffic to total traffic on their platforms averages out to 10 percent of total traffic. Despite the fact that walled-gardens claim to have a mechanism in place to detect illegitimate clicks, they do nothing to prevent it. The magnitude of the problem is enormous due to the fact that they account for up to 80% of all web traffic. According to an estimate of the size of the global digital advertising expenditure at Rs. 25000 crore (approximately), these walled gardens cover a total universal spend of Rs. 20,000 crore.
Brand Safety analyses based on English language data provide regional context.
The official languages of India are 22 in number, with just 5 of them being supported by Google. According to a recent survey, regional languages account for 95 percent of all video consumed worldwide. In order to prevent the usual blacklisting tools from becoming obsolete, it is imperative that this issue be addressed immediately. Keywords and URL blocking rely on the basic interpretation of words to designate content and the related inventory as either “secure” or “unsecure.”
Although brand safety concerns are the same around the world, each country and region has its own culture and expectations, which makes each situation unique and subjective to the individual. As a result, brands would typically implement contextual targeting methods like as keyword blocking and URL blocklists in order to safeguard their brand’s reputation. Keyword-based blacklisting is not the most effective method of successfully advertising and ensuring brand safety and security. Using AI-powered algorithms, context-based blacklisting is becoming increasingly important. It must be updated on a regular basis based on the news story and relevancy.
There is no advertising fraud in relation to performance campaigns
Another prevalent fallacy among businesses and advertising agencies is that performance campaigns are completely free of fraud because they are targeted efforts, which is not the case. The company believes that, while media campaigns may be plagued by concerns of ad fraud, performance campaigns are immune to the influence of bad publishers that send invalid traffic to their campaigns. It is estimated that 30-35 percent of invalid traffic is attracted by performance campaigns (CPC/CPV/CPL/CPS) throughout the business.
The vast majority of traffic is clear, and the vast majority of BOTS may be easily identified
The majority of BOT traffic originates from the two main public cloud vendors, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, in about equal proportions. When left unchecked, malicious bots have the ability to steal data, degrade site performance, and even cause a data breach. Because of this, it is crucial to identify bot traffic and properly stop it as quickly as possible.
Automated traffic accounts for 64 percent of all internet traffic (significantly more than human traffic!) – and while only 25 percent of automated traffic is made up of good bots, such as search engine crawlers and social network bots, 39 percent of all traffic is made up of bad bots, such as adware and phishing bots.
Brand safety has absolutely nothing to do with return on investment and is a needless expense
No matter what industry, vertical, or scale of operation an organization is in, brand protection is a must-have for every size of organization. Unsafe content is actually detrimental to the performance of your campaign as a whole. To set the record straight, no matter what scale the business operates at, no matter what industry it serves, one incident of unsound advertising practice can result in a permanent loss of reputation for the company. Your advertisements will perform poorly if they are displayed on risky inventory, which will lower the overall return on investment of your campaign.
A considerable influence on key metrics such as audience quality (83 percent), brand equity (82 percent), and brand lift is estimated to be achieved through advertising in brand-safe locations (79 percent ). Over three-quarters feel that brand safety affects return on investment, also known as return on investment (ROI) (77 percent ).
The advertiser has complete control over all of the channels
In order for consumers to trust your brand, the medium through which information is transmitted must be examined, since this might have an impact on the safety element of a brand. There is a relationship between the price paid, the quality of the audience, and the safety of the brand. All of these factors combine to generate the complete spectrum of safe branding. In other circumstances, advertisers frequently look for publishers who have high-quality audiences and high levels of interaction with their content.
According to a Nielsen analysis of a household-income-adjusted ad campaign, only 25 percent of the ads were reaching the appropriate homes in the first place. As much as 65 percent of the money spent on location-targeted advertising was squandered.