Digital Still Not Out of the Fraud Woods
06 June 2016 • tvsquared

This blog post is by our CTO, Kevin O’Reilly – MGC

A recent survey of 357 U.S. advertising and marketing executives found that both brand marketers and media agencies have concerns when it comes to digital media buying. What’s surprising is that, with many of these concerns, they are not in close alignment.

While both groups worry about click fraud, bot traffic and ad blocking, marketing executives are, on average, 15-to-20 points more concerned than media agencies on these metrics (78%, 78% and 60% vs. 63%, 59% and 50%, respectively). Both groups are in alignment around view-ability concerns though and, while not strictly fraud, an unseen ad might as well be.

This is worth a closer look because, essentially, eight in 10 marketers are concerned that their ads are clicked by non-human sources, six in 10 worry that ad blockers will stop their messages from reaching target audiences and seven in 10 are concerned that when those ads finally reach humans, they won’t even be seen!

Yes, the digital ecosystem is complex and, at times, deeply opaque, but these are worrying numbers. In an AdAge article, it was estimated that a whopping $18.5 billion would be lost to fraud in 2015. The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and White Ops “The Bot Baseline: Fraud in Digital Advertising” report, found that $7.2 billion could be lost to bots in 2016 alone. In the 2014 report, video was found to be particularly vulnerable, with 62% fraud on video advertising for one company in the CPG space.

Digital, especially video, still has a ways to go before confidence can be reinstated as an important means of reaching audiences with powerful, video-driven brand messages. Until then, TV continues to provide a safe haven for brand video messaging that not only reaches the audience, but can also be equally measured for ROI.