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Marketing fraud. Widespread, it may be. We all know its classic form of dodgy people selling phoney products, but what guises does it take on nowadays? 

Juniper Research predicted that marketing fraud would cost advertisers more than £15 billion this year; almost 10% of global digital ad expenditure. They identified the main issues as fake websites, fake domains, fake accounts and ‘bot farms’ (pumping out fake views, ratings and the like). 

This summer, Unilever called for urgent action to clean up influencer marketing, particularly opposing companies who buy followers. And mobile has been widely accepted as the new central ground for ad fraud, having leapt eight-fold in the past year alone. 

So what can you do to make sure you get your advert to where you want it to be and in front of the right audience? 

First of all, get in touch with a major ad verification provider, such as Integral Ad Sciences, Pixalate, WhiteOps and Forensiq. In short, they can check your ads are displayed in the right context and on the right websites. 

Next, use ads.txt, crucial for halting unauthorised ad exchanges and enabling you to enjoy more transparent trading. Never forget though that human review is still all-important: vet all partners and track results carefully. Documenting your internal anti-fraud policy will help you identify any gaps in your procedure to ensure ad fraud is contained. 

Remember though that, as with any type of fraud, it’s a cat-and-mouse game and fraudsters would do anything to stay ahead of the chase. So keep your ear close to the ground!

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