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The Problem With Ad Fraud Solutions

August 30, 2018

Ad fraud continues to plague digital advertising. If you want to stay ahead, an ad fraud solution is a  mandatory component of your campaign. However, in an advertiser’s haste to prevent fraud, they may be overlooking critical problems with ad fraud solutions currently on the market; specifically those that don't provide in depth analytics in real-time.

Before choosing an ad fraud solution, here are four issues others are running into with their current ad fraud solution vendors.

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1. Ridiculous Charges for Inadequate Protection

In today’s ad fraud solution market, many clients feel like they're being taken advantage of.  Since vendors are charging an arm and a leg, and the client can't see what they're paying for, some brands are left feeling so frustrated that they’re taking ad fraud verification in-house.

However, unless you know what data you’re looking for, an in-house solution isn't always the answer.  It takes time for in-house developers to build a solution, and oftentimes, ad fraud detection is not their specialty, so the solution may not be accurate.  The cost of the time it takes in-house developers to build a solution may even rival or exceed the cost of an effective solution.  Regardless, many clients feel like they’re left with no choice but to handle verification themselves.

2. Multiple Solutions Are Needed

Many agencies are using multiple ad fraud solutions because their clients are requiring it. Some clients want one type of solution (e.g. Solution A), while others want a different type (e.g. Solution B). Clients are also expecting the ad fraud solutions to align with their own metrics, however, the metrics they expect may not be an accurate representation.


Since there are no measurement standards for ad fraud, there are varying definitions for fraudulent traffic. The discrepancies between ad fraud solution providers can range between 30-40%. Clients may like the numbers they see, but that doesn’t mean they’re accurate.

3. Vendors Are Buying Into MRC Accreditation

Most ad fraud solutions are successful due to their marketing efforts, not their solution itself.  In particular, solutions that boast the Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation program tend to get more attention from brands and agencies, who put a lot of weight in MRC accreditation.

Sure, it's nice to have accreditation, but what does that show? With no ad fraud measurement standards, such an accreditation is based on an affiliation with the MRC, not the performance of a solution.  Choosing a vendor based solely on MRC accreditation doesn’t mean a client is getting the ad fraud solution they need.

4. Technical Problems Are Frequent

Tech can be helpful, until it isn't. Some ad fraud solutions are known to have frequent technical problems and go offline regularly. Oftentimes, the vendor isn’t even aware that there’s a technical problem.  Meanwhile, for the duration of the outage, customers are even more vulnerable to fraudsters.

Related Post: Why a Publisher Needs Ad Fraud Protection

Spending valuable marketing dollars for a solution that doesn’t have adequate infrastructure and security? Frustrating and unacceptable.

So, What’s the Right Solution?

Two things need to happen.  

Clients need to do their homework when selecting an ad fraud solution and the ad fraud industry needs to recognize and define measurement standards for ad fraud.

Until that happens, ad fraud solution providers will continue to face a tough competition with one another, and clients will struggle to find the right ad fraud solution.

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