Research firms and vendors have varying methodologies and definitions for ad fraud, which creates divergent forecasts. Estimates of recent annual losses to digital ad fraud range from $6.5 billion to $19 billion. Some of the most definitive statistics come from anti-fraud vendor White Ops and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).
After analyzing 27 billion ad impressions across 50 brand marketers, White Ops and the ANA projected that $5.8 billion will be lost to fraud globally this year, down from $6.5 billion in 2017.
The prevalence of ad fraud can sway advertisers away from spending more money. Ad measurement firm Integral Ad Science (IAS) found that 69.0% of US agency execs said that fraud was the biggest hindrance to ad budget growth; 52.6% of brand professionals said the same.
In May 2017, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tech Lab launched ads.txt, which is a text file on publishers’ sites that lists all the vendors authorized to sell their inventory. Because domain spoofing and arbitrage have plagued programmatic advertising, IAB created ads.txt so that ad buyers could have a tool to check whether a vendor’s claim to a piece of inventory was legitimate.
According to ad verification company Pixalate, the 1,000 most-trafficked websites that sell advertising programmatically have significantly increased their ads.txt usage. In Q4 2018, 78.3% of these sites used it, up from 57.5% in Q4 2017.
Source: Benes, R. (2019, May 20). Five Charts: The State of Ad Fraud. eMarketer.
Editor’s Note: See all five charts via the article link.