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Ad Fraud Improving but Lots of Work Ahead

A new report from Integral Ad Science (formerly known as AdSafe Media) was released concerning the quality of the digital ad market. They found that ad fraud has gone down, in terms of percentages, over the past year. In fact, suspicious ad activity dropped from 30% in Q4 2012 to 13% in Q4 2013. This is a great improvement, though 13% is still a significant percentage.

This data seems to go against what another study from Solve Media (reported on by Performance Marketing Insider recently HERE) which showed a significant increase in the total dollars lost to botnet ad fraud. Of course, each study used their own measurement techniques, and given the fact that the total ad dollars spent over the last year went up significantly, it is possible that the percent of fraud dropped, while the total cost of it still went up.

Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral Ad Science, commented that while the drop was significant, it is only going to get harder to see improvements from here. Most ad networks have been able to stop the ‘low hanging fruit’ types of ad fraud, so any further improvements will be targeted toward stopping the high tech, well-funded botnets. This will, of course, be much more difficult.

The report also found that advertisements on websites are actually visible more often in 2013 than they were in 2012. Only about 51% of ads placed through ad networks were visible in 2012. This means that they were never actually on the user’s screen for at least one second. It is even worse for ads purchased through exchanges, where only 47% of them were displayed. In 2013, that number climbed to 66% through ad networks.

While there is still a long way to go, this is encouraging information for advertisers and brands alike. Those who commit ad fraud on a large scale are very motivated to keep their systems working, however, so it will be very difficult to ever be able to get the total rates of fraud to zero, or even close to it.

You can see the report HERE. What do you think about these new numbers? Leave your comments below.

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Michael Levanduski

Michael Levanduski is the assistant editor of Performance Marketing Insider, and an experienced freelance writer. He writes content for a wide range of sites in virtually every niche, though he specializes in technical writing as well as creating content for the performance and internet marketing industry. Michael was born in Grand Rapids, MI where he still lives with his wife and three children.

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  1. It’s not going down, it’s getting harder to detect. It’s rampant on all the big exchanges and networks where page views still rule the day. It just tells you how little this company knows about ad fraud. Solve was much closer to the truth.

    1. It is certainly a major problem. I think this company recognizes that it is a growing problem, but they are also aware that more of it is being caught than ever before.

      It will be a battle that brands and advertisign networks need to fight for years to come, that’s for sure.

      Thanks for reading.


  2. As this note mentioned, will be hard work (impossible?) to get the total rates of fraud to 0 or close, but companies like this one certainly helps to approach a better ad exchange enviroment.
    Good info.



    1. Thank you for the comment. We always do our best to shine light where it needs to go. Hopefully we can help to reduce the problem of fraud today and in the future.

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