IAB chief Alice Manners says ad fraud is not as prevalent in Australia as is being made out

The CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has said the organisation will target ad fraud in 2015, but insists the problem is not as big as is being portrayed by the media.

Alice Manners revealed that IAB would be commissioning a study into ad fraud in the Australian market during a Mumbrella hangout to talk about the future of digital advertising sector.

When asked how big an issue ad fraud was in this market Manners was quick to downplay any suggestion that there was a serious issue: “It’s not as big a problem as you journalists make it out to be, that is from a global contextualisation perspective.

“We have an agency group which is in collaboration with the Media Federation (MFA) and as a subset of the agency group we have  a brand safety council to look at that (ad fraud).”

Manners said ad fraud was running at less than five percent across major publishers online.

“There is bot fraud which we can manage, and areas such as programatic, which tend to suggest there is a higher fraud level, however we know through some of the technology companies that are new to Australia that that fraud across some of our key publishers is really low, it’s less than five per cent,” she claimed.

“I can comfortably say it’s around two per cent,” she added.

Manners said there needed to be a study of the local market to put the problem into context and said IAB would look at committing to a study through the Brand Safety Council. However she did not give a timeframe for when this would happen.

“What I would like to do is have an Australian study to contextualise that,” she said.

She did admit however that there were some players in the market who were engaging in “dodgy” practices and that in 2015 IAB would be looking at targeting those players.

“If you look at where online ad revenues are; it’s fantastic to see that marketers have that confidence in the medium to invest in it. The traffic fraud element takes away from that, but they are some dodgy global players that need to be put into place and we’ll do that in 2015.”

The IAB is one of the newest entrants to the Australian trade association space being incorporated in 2010, and represents major publishers, marketers and agencies in a bid to make online advertising better.

Manners has been the CEO of the IAB for over a year and a half, being appointed to the role in July 2013. Prior to the IAB Manners was the COO of interaction for GroupM AsiaPacific for eight years.

During the hangout Manners talked about a range of topics including the IAB’s goals for the year and the challenges facing the industry including the rise of programmatic marketing, monetising digital content for publishers and whether agencies should be asked to do more, and the latest changes in online measurement being driven by the association.

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