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Many App Marketers Think Ad Fraud Is a Serious Problem

Published on August 18, 2017  •  eMarketer

Ad fraud is a major concern for the majority of app marketers worldwide, according to a survey conducted by InMobi in July. The poll found that 59% of respondents thought of ad fraud as a serious problem that ad networks needed to address.

In addition, the survey revealed that 40% of app marketers believed they understood how ad fraud was perpetrated, as well as its potential effect on their advertising campaigns. But a significant number—44%—either knew what ad fraud was but wanted to learn more about it, or understood the concept but didn’t know how it might affect campaigns.

Nearly half (48%) of respondents identified invalid traffic from bots and scripts as the most common type of ad fraud they encountered. That was followed by unauthorized rebrokering (13%), click cramming (13%) and ad stacking (10%).

Advertisers in the survey were taking various measures to combat the problem of ad fraud, but none relied heavily on a technical solution. InMobi found that 58% of those polled had partnered with a trusted ad network in an effort to make sure they were not victims of fraud.

Measures Undertaken by App Marketers in North America to Minimize the Effect of Ad Fraud in App Marketing, July 2017 (% of respondents)

Other techniques failed to be used by a majority of marketers. One-third said they had blacklisted IP addresses, while 27% were cutting out the middlemen by relying on direct publisher partnerships. Another 27% were integrating their systems with independent fraud prevention tools, and about one-quarter said they demand full transparency and reporting.

Earlier research from half of digital marketers in the US identified media quality—a category that included problems related to ad fraud—as a leading challenge they faced.

The costs associated with ad fraud are both real and substantial. According to Forrester Research, US fraudulent or nonviewable ad costs totaled $7.4 billion in 2017, with that figure projected to rise to $10.9 billion by 2021.