ExchangeWire: The Cat-and-Mouse Game of Ad Fraud: Staying Ahead of Threats
It's time to rethink the ways that the ad tech sector approaches a growing criminal enterprise that is worth billions of dollars.
While Hollywood portrayals of mafia bosses gleefully orchestrating lucrative criminal plots have embedded themselves in our collective cultural imagination, the reality of ad fraud's impact is equally cinematic. Ad fraud will be the second most lucrative form of organised crime (behind drug trafficking) within the next decade, according to the World Federation of Advertisers.
Combatting the pervasive issue of ad fraud can be approached through two defined strategies - technological innovation and industry-wide collaboration. Enhanced transparency through blockchain technology is gaining prominence, allowing for a verifiable and immutable record of every ad impression. There is also artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, which are being harnessed to detect anomalies and patterns associated with fraudulent activities in real-time, thereby bolstering fraud detection efforts. Moreover, industry collaborations and initiatives, such as the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) and ads.txt, are establishing stringent verification and authentication processes to ensure that ad inventory is sourced from legitimate publishers.
Industry players are increasingly recognising the need to collaborate in the fight against ad fraud. Recent initiatives, such as the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), have demonstrated the industry's commitment to establishing standardised practices and guidelines. TAG's efforts, for instance, have led to a notable 84% reduction in fraud in TAG Certified distribution channels, according to their2022 report.