Following the recent WFA webinar on ad fraud, and in particular bots, good and bad, Integral Ad Science (IAS) shared their six steps for proactively preventing ad fraud in your digital advertising campaigns.
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Digital ad fraud has always lurked in the shadows of our online advertising industry and will continue to evolve and appear in different forms.
The industry defines ad fraud as any deliberate activity that prevents the proper delivery of ads to the right people at the right time, in the right place.
From bots to pixel stuffing, malicious apps and more, ad fraud has evolved in such a way that it impacts the whole of the digital advertising industry, including evolving mediums.
Moreover, different methods of ad fraud can be combined for maximum effect and maximum profit gain, leading to the erosion of media investment across platforms.
Fraud can vary day by day, market by market. But what really matters is the true impact it has on marketing dollars. Fraudsters are capitalising on the growth of ad spend and making billions from ad fraud. IAS estimate that $100 billion could be given to ad fraud by 2023.
Discussing ad fraud can be a tough topic to tackle, especially if your audience is new to the world of ad fraud. To help brand marketers facilitate the conversations with internal and external stakeholders, IAS has put together a checklist that brand marketers can use to discuss how to proactively prevent falling victim to ad fraud in their digital ad campaigns:
- Use verification and ad fraud solutions so that you can confirm that the ads were delivered to the right place and to the right audience. Make sure that you are always blocking ad fraud, not just simply reporting on it.
- Look for accredited fraud solutions. Use solutions that have been accredited for both general and sophisticated invalid traffic (IVT). All vendors are accredited or should have been accredited by the Media Ratings Council (MRC) and all accreditations can be found online.
- Mitigate the risk of paying for fraudulent impressions. Ensure the agency has agreed contractual terms with publishers on make-goods for invalid traffic. You don’t want to be paying for fraudulent impressions, so make sure that the right terms are in place.
- Use pre-bid filtering to avoid fraud in programmatic buys. Pre-bidding allows brands and agencies to reduce fraud before the bid has even been placed.
- If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Focus less on low CPMs and more on KPIs tailored to campaign goals. Potentially look away from CPCs and low CPMs.
- As a last resort, look to use exclusion lists for fraud. Your agency should probably have a managed list they look after.
There are many different avenues marketers can take to defend their brand against ad fraud. The IAS Digital Ad Fraud Guide provides additional tips on how brands can reduce digital ad fraud; such as focusing on KPIs tailored to campaign goals, rather than honing in on low CPMs.
To know more about ad fraud globally and in the APAC region, watch the on-demand WFA-IAS webinar on the impacts of digital ad fraud in APAC here.