THE World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has estimated that the value of advertising fraud (ad fraud) on the digital platform could reach in excess of US$50bil by 2025.
Due to growing concerns over cyber crime, WFA is currently spearheading an awareness campaign through its freshly published Compendium of Ad Fraud Knowledge for Media Investors.
Ad fraud, by definition, is associated with an activity where impressions, clicks, actions or data events are falsely reported to criminally earn revenue or for other purposes of deception and malice.
Some researchers have reported ad fraud exposure between as low as 2% and as high as 90%, it seems clear that there are no widely available ways of assessing the absolute exposure rate.
The challenge of establishing such figure is underlined by recent WFA research findings which demonstrate that 36% of respondents don’t know to what extend they are exposed to ad fraud.
Nevertheless, one of the highest profile research initiatives into ad fraud was the recent ‘Bot Baseline’ undertaken by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in the US where the cost of ad fraud is estimated at US$7.2bil, approximately 5% of the total global digital media market.
WFA marketing director (Asia) Ranji David tells StarBizWeek that now that the industry is equipped with a better understanding of issues at hand, the stakeholders have a certain guidance to combat this problem or crime.
“This compendium is downloadable from our website and we are ready to assist any brands that would like to know more on the issue. We are happy to come to Malaysia and work together with Malaysian Advertisers Association (MAA) on this.
“Malaysia has a great unified market and the community is very strong,” she says after Ad Fraud conference organised by MAA earlier this week.
Star Media Group was the media partner for the event.
Beyond this compendium, Ranji says WFA is will work across its working group to take this into the operational level to help brands adopt the right approach to address this issue.
MAA vice-president Chan May Ling thinks that the industry needs an independent party to really measure the digital media buying as marketers currently don’t have the tools to gauge the digital adveritising dollar.
“Transparency is the key as ad fraud is probably a growing concern now but we still do not have the numbers and measurement of advertising dollars is the key and MAA is working to form a technical committtee to measure digital advertising expenditure,” she says.
Integral Ad Science managing director UK and strategic development EMEA Niall Hogan says what brands could do first and foremost are to educate themselves.
“Then, they must work with a technology company that could identify that there is a problem, gauge the level of the problem and help them by giving them some solutions to it,” he says.
In terms of the criminality side, Hogan admits that it is difficult to identify as the criminals are always two steps ahead and because of the jurisdiction in some of the countries the ad frauds are based.
“Make it more important for the industry to take on our measures and use our technology to limit the impact of fraud,” he says.