A big credit card marketer based in India called up its leads and discovered that 30% of the so called leads degenerated by its digital video ad were indeed fraudulent.
The clients said that they had never expressed any interest in the brand; neither had they filled any credit card form nor their personal details to the credit card company. This is one of many scenarios that are crippling the ad industry. As a matter of fact, in a recent interview to BrandWagon, fintech player MobiKwik’s, CEO Bipin Preet Singh said one of the reasons he was not looking at monetisation through digital ads was that there was a lot of fraud in the digital ad industry such as misalignment of incentives, overbilling and fake traffic.
“Ad fraud could be between 10-30% of all digital advertising done in India, with bot fraud and click fraud being the most common,” noted Lakshmi Narasimhan, chief growth officer, GroupM, South Asia.
Yahoo India’s detection system identifies 20-40% of traffic on its ad tech platform BrightRoll DSP as non-human traffic (NHT) and blocks it pre-bid, leaving less than 5% NHT, as measured by third-party vendors. “Fraudsters not only try to deliver and get paid for bot impressions, bot clicks, farmed leads, incentivised installs and fake customers, they can also go to the extent of booking an order and cancelling once they have been paid a commission,” said Sanjay Tripathy, former senior EVP and CMO, HDFC Life.
“Ad fraud can be countered if you use metrics like cost per acquisition (CPA) and work with large reputed publishers,” asserted Jasani of Cheil India. For example, Yahoo uses a combination of proprietary technology, third-party integrations, human monitoring and industry partnerships to make sure that every ad sold is high quality and minimum risk.
“Moreover, advertisers are asking their ad tech partners to demonstrate their investments in anti-fraud technology,” Singh said. They are also looking at third-party verification and certification programmes as a way to assess their advertising budgets holistically and independently across various platforms.