Digital Ad Fraud 2019

Digital Ad Fraud 2019

Mobile and Video Remain Riskiest Channels

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Executive Summary

Digital advertising is a big business, with hundreds of billions of dollars spent each year. That money has long lured fraudsters to the space, and deceptive practices cost the advertising industry billions annually.

  • How big a problem is digital ad fraud? Overall estimates of fraud vary widely, but even the most conservative estimates put the money involved worldwide well into the billions annually. Recent estimates vary from $6.5 billion to as high as $19 billion, a range that points to the difficulty in measuring fraud’s true impact.
  • What types of digital advertising are most vulnerable to fraud? One rule of thumb is that fraudsters go where the money is. That’s true, but it’s not the whole story. They’re also attracted to new markets and technologies, such as connected TV, where verification firms haven’t yet developed robust detection algorithms and where the ad tech market is relatively immature.
  • What are marketers doing to protect themselves? Using a verification vendor is table stakes at this point, for advertisers and publishers alike. More companies are getting Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) certifications, implementing ads.txt, and evaluating their ad supply chains to eliminate avenues for fraud. But more can be done, and marketers will need to keep their eyes on the ball.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report summarizes recent trends in digital ad fraud and its mitigation, and it advises marketers on what they need to understand to keep their budgets reasonably safe.

KEY STAT: The adoption of ads.txt has been one of the most significant recent developments in programmatic ad fraud mitigation. According to measurement firm Pixalate, about three-quarters of leading programmatically enabled publishers have implemented ads.txt.

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authors

Nicole Perrin

Contributors

Ross Benes
Writer, Tech & Marketing
Lauren Fisher
Principal Analyst
Jillian Ryan
Senior Analyst
Tracy Tang
Senior Researcher

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