Digital ad fraud and how to beat it!

Ad fraud

Sachin Uppal shares insights on digital ad fraud, how it works, ways to curb the menace and if having a regulatory body can help to ease the situation.

According to a report, published on CNBC International, ad fraud will cost brands $16.4 billion globally in 2017 and that nearly 20 percent of total digital ad spends were wasted in 2016 for this very reason. Ad fraud is still one of the top concerns among brand managers and media agency executives, when it comes to digital media planning.

“Marketers advertise on various digital platforms and each of them have their own objective. A fraud happens when a marketer is made to pay, while the deliverables are practically bad or zero, shares Sachin Uppal, Chief Marketing Officer, Play Games24x7 Pvt Ltd.

According to Uppal, digital ad fraud is becoming really big and it is happening everywhere around the world, not only in India.

“It is very easy way to make money for the fraudsters and hence people continue to do that. In fact, it has now become the second largest organised crime after drug trafficking,” Uppal states.

Sachin Uppal shares insights on digital ad fraud, how it works, ways to curb the menace and if having a regulatory body can help to ease the situation.

On functionality of fraudsters…

It can work with the manipulation of machines, which includes mobile phones, computers, where advertisers are delivered fake or low quality impressions. Fraudsters are essentially trying to create fraud traffic – which is disguised in the form of genuine traffic and advertiser fail to distinguish one from the other. In fact it is done, so genuinely, that only 5-10 percent of the traffic is getting affected and you think it is a performance issue and not some fraud which is taking place.

On detection of fake traffic…

These fraudsters are always trying to emulate different geo locations, browsing systems and other things to make the traffic look real. There are few tools available, which can now detect the finger printing of the devices and filter the traffic and tell the marketers if they are genuine or fake.

One has to work with service providers who provide these kinds of tools. One of them is Adby Ventures; they can separate the fraud traffic. Remember, this fraud traffic can come from anywhere, Facebook or even from third party affiliates because these people are part of all these networks. It is very hard to detect fraud traffic because companies trying to do so, they themselves are on the phase of constantly learning and finding solution to it.

On tips to curb ad fraud…

Ad fraud is real and it is inevitable. Even while working with a third party vendor, your problem doesn’t get solved. However, certain things can be done. First step is to recognize that yes there is a fraud happening and it needs to be solved. No point hiding it under the carpet, instead start having more conversations so that you can solve it. Secondly, sensitize your own team members on what needs to be done in such a situation. It is not a one team’s job; it is a culture which needs to be formed.

On need for a regulatory body….

A regulatory body should help in building awareness, building a framework which keeps the list of such third party domains which are generating fraudulent traffic should be maintained and shared with the partners. Some kind of guidelines like, what are the things which should be kept in mind, while running a campaign. These things can definitely help over a period of time.

Sachin Uppal, Chief Marketing Officer, Play Games24x7 Pvt Ltd spoke at Samosa Talks organised by Social Samosa. You can view his entire session here.