In India, the overall share of digital advertising stands at around 30 per cent but it is expected to grow 25 per cent annually against a global average of 9 per cent. This consequently means that ad fraud is anticipated to climb from the current average of 25-35 per cent to 45-55 per cent as firms shift their advertising budgets from traditional to digital.

As per the mFilterIt’s Brand Safety Report 2021, the biggest challenges for ad-fraud included issues like awareness (42 per cent), brand infringement (23 per cent), fraud (12 per cent), investment (12 per cent) and placement (11 per cent). It is estimated that digital ad fraud will cost advertisers and brands $44 billion in fraudulent activities by 2022.

Commenting on the release of ad-fraud myths, Dhiraj Gupta, co-founder and CTO, mFilterIt, said, “One of the best tools to fight Ad Fraud is “awareness” on this subject. It is quintessential for the brands and decision-makers to be aware of the gravity of this issue and be responsible for their financial resources. In this digital age, it is a fact that most of the frauds are committed in the complex digital labyrinth, to mark international fraud awareness week, we are releasing a set of myths that needs to be dismantled to fight this menace so that we can lead towards a safer and secure digital economy.”

The company has highlighted various myths associated with running digital campaigns. Some of which are:-

  • Ad-fraud does not exist

In digital ad campaigns, there is high possibility that the decision-makers do not know that ad fraud is draining their money and fraudulent traffic is dismissed as normal as they cannot see any foreseeable answer to the problem. The fact is that advertisers get invalid traffic (IVTs) using bots, VPN/Proxies, click injections, cookie stuffing, or any other form of non-human traffic.

  • Advertiser is in control of all the channels

The medium through which information is disseminated must be considered for the consumers to trust the brand which affects the safety aspect of a brand. There exists a relation between the price paid, audience quality, and brand safety. All equally form the entire gamut of safe branding. In other such instances, advertisers often look at publishers with high-quality audiences and engagement.

  • Most traffic is clean and most of the BOTs can be simply identified

Most BOT traffic comes in from the two largest public cloud vendors, AWS and Microsoft Azure, in roughly equal measure. When left unchecked, the bad bots can steal data, affect site performance, and even lead to a breach. Therefore, it is critically important to detect and effectively block bot traffic.

  • There is no ad-fraud on performance campaigns

Another common misconception among brands and advertising agencies is that performance campaigns are free from fraud as they are targeted campaigns. They believe that although media campaigns may face issues of ad fraud, performance campaigns are free from the clout of malicious publishers supplying invalid traffic. Performance campaigns (CPC/CPV/CPL/CPS) attract invalid traffic to the tune of 30-35 per cent across the industry.

  • English based Brand Safety analysis provide regional context

India has 22 official languages out of which only 5 are supported by Google. According to a recent study, 95 per cent of video consumed are in regional languages. This calls for immediate attention because the regular blacklisting tools will be rendered redundant if this stays unaddressed because keywords and URL blocking relies on a basic interpretation of words to categorize content and the associated inventory as “safe” or “unsafe.” Keyword-based blacklisting is not the way to successfully advertise and ensure brand safety. Context-based blacklisting is the need of the hour which must be constantly updated based on the news story, relevancy with AI-powered algorithms.