Among other changes, he called for third-party verification of advertising data and increased transparency. Since then, concerns over advertising fraud appear to have escalated along with calls for more policing.
Procter and Gamble, of course, isn’t the only brand to express concern over fraud. Uber has just sued marketing agency Fetch Media, claiming that the organization squandered tens of millions of dollars on bogus advertising, reports CNBC. The litigation claims that the ads were too small to be viewed by people and that Uber also paid for ads that supposedly appeared on websites that don’t exist. Fetch has denied the claims.
In another example, the Financial Times recently warned advertisers of a domain spoofing scam that involved charging brands for display advertisements that criminals claimed were appearing on the publisher’s websites, reports DigiDay.
Yet, the ads were displayed elsewhere. It discovered the scam on 10 different ad exchanges and 15 video exchanges. More than 300 accounts were selling inventory that the scammers claimed to be with the publisher.
In another incident, bank representatives met with the Financial Times to discuss the poor results that advertising, purportedly on the publisher’s website, had produced. The bank was under the impression that it paid for a homepage takeover for a full day, but since the arrangement was a scam, no advertising appeared.
From a broader perspective, ad fraud is expected to cost brands $19 billion this year, according to a recent study by Jupiter Research. So reports Mobile Marketing Watch. That is the equivalent of $51 million a day. By 2022, ad fraud is likely to represent $44 billion annually, according to the report.
Fraud, furthermore, is something that most CMOs are concerned about, according to a recent report by the CMO Council. The report is based on an online survey of 300 marketers who identified ad misplacement and fraud as two primary concerns.
In responding to growing concerns over the problem, the Financial Times is urging other publishers to adopt ads.text, which is the Interactive Advertising Bureau Tech Lab’s tool for fighting ad fraud. Among large U.K. publishers, the Guardian and News UK have already done so.
The Trustworthy Accountability Group’s trustworthy certification is another initiative to fight fraud. The organization recently touted that the Publishers Clearing House has earned certifications through the organization’s programs.
Google is also stepping up its actions related to fraud. It had previously said it would reimburse brands for certain instances of fraud. Recently, it said it would refund up to 10% of ad spending if traffic is found to be fraudulent. Google, furthermore, says it has developed a system with more algorithms and more than 180 filters to prevent invalid traffic from impacting its clients, according to Sky News.
Needless to say, marketers are under growing pressure to improve the return on investment associated with their advertising campaigns. With that in mind, efforts to weed out fraud will probably grow over time.