Bad Ads Still a Big Issue

MAD-Alfred-E-Neuman-Halloween-MaskSuspicious impressions remain a huge issue for the adoption of online advertising.  In fact, a recent survey by Solve Media found that over six in every 10 impressions served online in the US in Q4 2013 were done so to suspicious, nonhuman agents. This number was up from 44% in Q1 2013—and more than twice as high as mobile-served ads (25%).

On one hand, online advertising remains a huge growth engine so why worry?  Most of us though realize that rather than be Alfred B. Neuman, we should be concerned about this accelerating trend.  Despite an ever increasing array of tools and fraudulent advertising detection services, the rate of suspicious traffic is up and to the right.

“Every time the industry makes a big step in helping with fraud, something else comes up,” Erin Pennington, executive vice president of media for digital advertising agency Moxie. “It’s just one of these exacerbating deals.” She noted that for many agencies and brands, fraud isn’t just about wasted ad spend: Its presence also results in wasted resources, as these companies must devote headcount and expertise to policing such suspicious activity.

A counter survey from ad verification solutions provider Integral Ad Science points to a more optimistic picture of the state of ad fraud. Its measurements for 2H 2013 of the portion of exchange-based ads served that were flagged for suspicious activity fell from 20% in H1 2013 to 13% in H2 2013, and network-specific activity declined from 20% to 15%. Publisher-direct activity stayed the same at a mere 2%.

But with gaps in the data this wide, that too retards the medium.  Fraud reduces confidence and as mentioned previously, increases costs.  As web publishers, we need to do what we can to ensure our sites are valid.  It will benefit us greatly in the long run.

If you’re not a fraud-bot, what do you think?

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  1. investing says:


    Fraudulent ad viewership remains a huge issue for online advertising

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