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 e-commerce account applications were found to be fraudulent, a 130 per cent increase compared to 2017.