John Wilpers, editor of the FIPP Innovation in Magazine Media annual reports, presents innovative ways to detect and prevent digital ad fraud.
John presented the ins and outs of digital advertising fraud in his article: “You’re infected, and probably don’t even know it“. These are his take on the types of ad fraud out there.
1. Impression (CPM) Ad Fraud
Impression ad fraud has several parts:
- Hidden ad impressions
- Fake sites
- Video ad fraud
- Paid traffic fraud
- Ad re-targeting fraud
HIDDEN AD IMPRESSIONS: Hidden ad impressions (also called ad stuffing or ad stacking) come from fraudsters either placing teeny one-pixel-by-one-pixel windows throughout a web page and serving ads into those virtually invisible ad spaces, or stacking layers of ads one on top of the other in the same space but only the top ad is visible. Some pages observed in a study by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and digital security firm WhiteOps found 85 ads on a single page where few if any ads were actually visible. Video ads can also be stuffed into 1×1 spaces or continuously looped in stacks so no user ever sees it.
The result is a huge ad inventory (tens of millions a day) on ad exchanges, all of which can be sold but few or none of which are never seen. For example, an AdAge investigation found two examples of massive fraud: One fraudulent site (modernbaby.com) offered 19 million impressions per day on one exchange while another fraudulent site (interiorcomplex.com) offered 30 million ad impressions per day on another exchange.
FAKE SITES: Fraudsters create fake sites containing only ad slots and either no content or generic content often repeated from one fake page to the next. None of these sites draws huge traffic (to avoid creating suspicion) but networks of fake sites sold on programmatic ad exchanges can generate millions in revenues taken together. To learn more about the different types of ad fraud, please click the below link;