All money-making industries have fraudsters at their tail, scamming and spamming the space, robbing and minting money using cynical methods. And it's no different for the Digital Advertising Industry.
With the digital ad spends overtaking TV, it's attracting a lot of fraudsters. It was estimated that in the US alone, in 2019, advertisers lost $7.2 billion only to “bot fraud.”
Such worrisome stats raise the question of the intensity of the problem and how to save the industry from this nuisance.
The silver spoon here is that behind all these scary numbers, a new era is brimming. Things are improving for the Digital Advertising Industry as they begin to get a hold of these threats.
Ok, I’ll channel my inner soothsayer and make a prediction here.
By the end of 2020, the impact of ad fraud will start to go down. The reason behind this claim is the measures and methods being adopted by the industry.
First and foremost, we know money talks, and there’s an undying pressure from major advertisers. Secondly, after the USA, the education and awareness of the problem in other countries is improving. Lastly, there are some thought leaders in the industry emerging with viable solutions and boosting awareness.
Let’s go through what’s happening out there:
1. Advertisers have put them on pedestals to make themselves heard
One such leading example was of P&G. In January 2019, Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard claimed in his speech:
“We serve ads to consumers through a non-transparent media supply chain with spotty compliance to common standards, unreliable measurement, hidden rebates and new inventions like bot and methbot fraud.”
Later in August, P&G announced it would cut its online advertising budget.
Although this was temporary, one of the world’s largest advertisers reducing their digital advertising budget turned out to be a good move. It was a wake-up call for the industry to step up and do what’s necessary to tackle fraud.
2. Rise in Awareness and Education
The industry understands the importance of education and is emphasizing it. There’s a lot out there for the readers now - weekly blogs, videos, guides, etc., are coming up to help understand the effects of ad fraud and the ways to combat it. Fighting this nuisance won’t be possible without proper knowledge.
3. Technology is evolving
Finally, many upcoming tech enthusiasts have made it their goal to eradicate this nuisance of ad fraud. Leading technologies are Blockchain & Machine Learning - evolving in this space as the industry's shield.
Additionally, there’s the IAB Tech Lab’s ads.txt project. It's a file that the publisher has to add to the site which verifies the ownership and shows the approved ad sellers to buy ad space on your site. It also creates a safe ecosystem for the buyers as their site will start receiving clean traffic or a licensed retailer for inventories.
Hopeful by 2020
All this together in the right direction will help complete the industry’s goal for 2020. At this point, Botman plays a crucial role in this - as we have taken a stand to fight this relentlessly.
All being good, we still shouldn’t let our guard down. Botman analyzes more than 20 Billion clicks monthly to find new fraudulent techniques and patterns used by fraudsters.
At Botman, we love the digital advertising space and do what’s necessary to protect it from Ad fraud.