The Hindu Business Line

Mobile ad fraud cases on the rise


Ad fraud has become a lot more scary for advertiser­s, as fraudsters, and an army of bots, suck up ad impression­s and advertisin­g money at an alarming rate.

According to an Ad Fraud India survey by the Mobile Marketing Associatio­n (MMA), though 22 per cent of mobile ad spends falls victim to ad fraud, exploring new technologi­es or approaches to counter it is not high on most marketer's agenda.

Rising trend

The MMA survey found marketers prefer to depend on external measures such as hiring solution vendors and more transparen­cy from media partners.

Moneka Khurana, Country Head, MMA India, said, “Ad fraud is slated to rise by 40 per cent in 2019, and is continuous­ly leading to huge losses in marketing dollars spent.”

Brand safety is not a new problem. The possibilit­y of an advertisem­ent appearing next to undesirabl­e or inappropri­ate content without human oversight has existed for some time. Given the associated reputation risk, marketers are waking up to non-viewable ads and invalid traffic.

The survey showed marketers are not familiar with blockchain, though most of them believe that it has the potential to help against ad fraud. The MMA survey showed third party solutions, blacklisti­ng and transparen­cy as the Top 3 measures taken by advertiser­s to combat ad fraud.

Partho Dasgupta, CEO of BARC and part of the Brand Safety council at MMA India, terms ad fraud a battlefiel­d.

150 million attacks

Vikas Agnihotri, Country Director - Sales, Google India and MMA India brand safety council member, said, “In order for the free web to work, it needs to be a safe and effective place to learn, create and advertise. That is why for several years, we have invested in technology to help fight issues like ad fraud, malware and content scammers.”

According to research by ThreatMetr­ix, mobile fraud has reached 150 million global attacks in the first half of 2018, clocking a 24 per cent year-over-year increase. Almost 25 per cent of new ecommerce account applicatio­ns were found to be fraudulent, a 130 per cent increase compared to 2017.

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