Online traffic fraud risking credibility of the industry, IAB chief warns

Alice MannersThe credibility of digital advertising is being undermined by traffic fraud and is preventing marketers from getting true value for money from their online campaigns, the chief executive of the Interactive Advertising Bureau has warned.

Alice Manners said criminals who are infiltrating systems to generate false ad views, clicks and site visits are “negatively impacting the entire industry” and must be stamped out.

Her comments came as the IAB Australia yesterday released papers outlining the practice of ad fraud, how it works and what marketers and advertising agencies can do to combat the problem.

Manners said it was time the industry began to tackle the problem and praised the collaborative approach now underway by the industry.

Figures from the US suggest between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of views are “bot-generated” – a terminology given to traffic that is generated by robotic programs which ad deliver impressions that are never seen by humans.

“The issue is something that has become top of mind for marketers and agencies and we want to raise awareness of what is happening and how to reduce the risk,” Manners told Mumbrella. “It is impacting the accurate measurement of campaigns and means marketers are not getting their full value for money.”

“It is negatively impacting the entire industry. It’s a credibility issue.”

While globally up to one third of marketing dollars on digital campaigns are estimated to be lost to fraudulent activity, there is no accurate measurement on how widespread the problem is in Australia.

Manners said she would “love to contextualise the problem in Australia and compare it to other markets”.

Such a task will be carried out by the Brand Safety Council which was formed in April and which represents publishers, agencies, technology firms and clients.

Despite the credibility of the industry being at risk, Manners denied marketers would begin to steer money away from the digital space.

“This is about educating marketers on how they allocate their money and to raise awareness of the issues,” she said.



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