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.


    • Michael Levanduski
  1. Ignacio Canepa
    • Michael Levanduski

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