How can you protect your brand from ad fraud?
Parva | July 5, 2022
The average time a person spends on the internet looking at a screen keeps increasing by the days. Our modern life is intertwined with various digital services. That’s why Digital Marketing has become an inevitable medium for brands who want to connect with people. But with the speed of innovation and development of new marketing techniques coming up every other day, it also gives an opening to fraudsters to swoop in and have a slice of the pie. Unfortunately, many aspects of digital marketing have been permeated with fraud. With new advertising opportunities come new opportunities for fraudsters to rig the game.
As marketers are busy focusing on metrics and conversions, and e-commerce pushes the economy towards digital, bots are entering CRM systems and data management platforms, skewing results, and disrupting the online advertising ecosystem. These terrible bots are stealing marketers’ money and are damaging their predictive models, paving the way for future ad spending to be wasted.
Here are some standard ad fraud techniques
These bots carry out malicious acts such as ad and click frauds, fake clicks, and fake impressions. Other actions include content scraping, account takeovers, checkout abuse, data harvesting, and DDoS attacks.
Botnets are a network of malware-infected devices controlled remotely by fraudsters to carry out malicious activities such as marketing fraud, credential leaks, DDoS attacks, and data theft.
Ad stacking is an impression fraud in mobile advertising, where multiple ads are piled in the exact single ad placement. While advertisers are charged for all these ads, only the top ad is visible to users. In the end, many more impressions are billed. If a user clicks the entire ad, clicks for the other ads on the stack will also be counted.
Click farms (and lead farms) are made up of low-paid workers who manually click on online ads to increase the clickthrough rate value and impressions. They are used to carry out impression, click, lead, subscription, and attribution fraud and skew data and analytics. A click farm’s main aim is to drain ad budgets, which is done relatively quickly.
Geo masking, also known as location masking, capitalises on the fact that traffic from one country or region can be more valuable than traffic from another.
It is estimated that the costs related to digital advertising fraud worldwide will grow exponentially within the four years between 2018 and 2023, from $35 billion to $100 billion. In 2019, nearly 20 percent of ad impressions served programmatically in the U.S. were fraudulent. India recorded the highest programmatic ad fraud rates at that time.
How does ad fraud affect advertisers?
First off, ad fraud wastes ad spending. But holistically ad fraud can affect advertisers far beyond their balance sheets. Ad fraud can encourage unethical behaviour among some advertisers to their long-term detriment. In another sense, ad fraud can also hamper the wider community’s confidence in the digital advertising industry. Authorities, for example, may perceive the industry as incapable of managing such a problem, prompting calls for greater regulation. And consumers, in turn, may see such calls as a sign that the promotion of some brands hasn’t been as ethical as it should have been.
Premium publishers that can protect your brand from ad fraud
Parva is one such premium publisher that has been focused on negating ad fraud through a proven ad stack and tech innovation. Its inventory comprises a consortium of India’s largest and most renowned publishers with credibility and trustworthiness. To avoid ad fraud, it is important to stick with trusted ad networks. Parva truly believes in the transparency of advertising data sets. In fact, brands implementing marketing campaigns on Parva remain informed about their performance data across all the channels. This has been truly transformational in establishing a relationship between Parva and media buyers — it is time all brands wake up to this need and not succumb to ad frauds.