This time last year, a report from the UK’s Association of Online Publishers found that 35% of UK publishers considered ad fraud to be a significant business threat—only ad blocking was considered by more respondents as a threat.
However, data from Integral Ad Science indicated that fraudulent ads are becoming less common in the UK. Among digital display ad impressions analyzed on its own platform in H1 2016, only 3.2% were found to be fraudulent.
And that rate has been steadily falling. The previous edition of this study found that 5.0% of such ads were fraudulent in Q1 2016, down from 7.8% in Q4 2015 and 9.1% in Q3 2015. Of particular note is the fact that the UK now ranks lowest by this measure across countries tracked by Integral Ad Science. Whereas in Q4 2015 only the US was found to have significantly more fraudulent ad impressions than the UK, by H1 2016, Australia, France, Germany and the US all saw higher fraud rates than the UK.
Something else that the research demonstrated was that programmatic trading of ad inventory doesn’t necessarily lead to a large uptick in fraudulent ads. While publisher-direct ad sales resulted in a particularly low ad fraud rate of just 2.6%, those traded programmatically saw only a slightly higher rate of ad fraud—0.6 percentage points higher. This kind of finding helps foster a sense of greater confidence coming to programmatic trading.