Interviews

Adtech Won’t Fix Ad Fraud Because It Is Too Lucrative

Every hour of every day a million little crimes are committed online. And every time it happens, hundreds of legitimate businesses all over the world, with boards and shareholders and mission statements — some of them publicly listed — put the proceeds of those crimes in their own pockets. They do so knowingly. 

Some people might consider it extraordinary that technology businesses — businesses that claim they can discern the intent of one buyer from a billion in milliseconds — somehow can’t recognize when millions of ads a month are served to a single unique user ID in, for instance, Belarus.

Method Media Intelligence's Shailin Dhar states that "when you study actual bot traffic in isolation as well as in live ad exchanges, you realize quickly that the truth can be described best as ‘take the industry estimates of the financial impact of fraud and multiply by ten.’”

Pixalate Says it Uncovered ‘Sophisticated’ Android Ad Fraud Potentially Worth $75 Million Annually

Ad safety company Pixalate has uncovered what it says is a ‘sophisticated’ mobile app fraud potentially costing advertisers up to $75 million a year if allowed to run unchecked.

The company says it discovered that Android app, MegaCast which allows users to broadcast content to Google’s Chromecast, was using ‘mobile app laundering’ to generate fraudulent ad impressions.

Even Privacy Advocates Are Tracking You Online

Each time someone visits CAPrivacy.org, software gleans what information it can about them, then sends that information to Facebook, including their IP address, what web pages they were on before and after visiting, and so on. At this point, both the visitor and the website have basically lost control of what happens with that information. 

Brands And Agencies Are ‘Resistant’ To Solving Viewability And Ad Fraud, Say Researchers

Ad fraud and invalid traffic are the topics of this piece from Andrew Birmingham of Which 50.

MMI's Shailin Dhar stated that "for all the promises that digital data promotes, there still remains a gap in understanding the systems that generate them. The open, complex systems of the internet seem to be shrouded behind abstractions of what is marketed and what is actually possible."

Praneet Sharma added that “as the funders of this system, it’s ironic that advertisers have so little share of this data ‘currency’. For this system to make good on all its offerings and capabilities, the brands must be given full transparency of each and every penny spent, and gain a full awareness of its limitations". 

Method Media Intelligence has created Proactive Auditing to address current challenges in digital advertising. Proactive Auditing provides full receipts of digital campaigns by tracking every impression. A dashboard provides clients with real time access to campaign metrics to identify wasted spend and enable clawbacks and rapid optimization.

 

 

Ad Fraud Interview With Focus Agency

Read Shailin Dhar's interview with Petr Michl of Focus Agency. This interview follows Method Media Intelligence's presentation at the 2017 Prague Marketing Festival. 

Shailin commented on how ad fraud has become such an easy way to generate illegitimate revenue, and marketers are currently behind the curve on preventing wasted spend. Last year US advertisers were estimated to spend $7-8B delivering ads to robotic visitors, while less than $0.2B was spent on ad fraud prevention. 

Method Media Intelligence serves advertisers by detecting invalid impressions and working with agencies to account for the use of advertising dollars. Proactive auditing is one tool MMI uses to empower advertisers to generate a higher return on advertising spend. 

Ad Fraud off the Charts

In the April 1st AdContrarian newsletter, Praneet Sharma of Method Media Intelligence points out the main reason that fraud estimates are widely inaccurate.

In December, CNBC reported $237B would be spent on digital advertising in 2018, and the Wall Street Journal reported 28% of internet traffic showed "non-human signals". Using this projection, $66.4B of advertising spend will be spent on fraud this calendar year. 

Since fraudsters are one step ahead, it is reasonable to assume there is some undetected fraud. Praneet believes that "avoiding detection will be the major obstacle that fraudsters will present."

The Advertising Industry Needs to Balance out Its Programmatic Transparency Quest

The Drum’s digital editor Ronan Shields reflects on some of the key talking points of The Drum’s Programmatic Punch, NYC, conference hosted earlier this week. Method Media Intelligence's Shailin Dhar was on the ad fraud panel, discussing how advertisers and agencies can win the fight against fraud in this industry.

Shailin added that “fraud is not 5%, it’s more like 50%, when you look at the amount of non-human traffic on the web, you’d be looking at almost 60% [of total traffic], the fact that we’re pretending [it's not that big of a problem] is just bizarre".

Bots Who Stole Christmas & Ad Fraud, MetaX, Method Media Intelligence, NYC

This post contains a link to Method Media Intelligence's presentation on ad fraud at Blockchain Xplore event for MetaX at Microsoft Center in New York City.

How to Tell When Someone Is Talking BS About Blockchain - The Drum

Blockchain has become one of the most overused buzzwords in many industries. In this article from Rebecca Stewart of The Drum, the claims and solutions related to the applications of blockchain technology are examined.

Method Media Intelligence's Shailin Dhar believes that "a lack of clarity and misinformation in the marketplace are the two biggest challenges holding blockchain back", and "everyone would benefit from creating education cycles in their organizations to make sure their teams have a sufficient understanding of what the word blockchain means to them and the environment they operate in".

Lessons on Preventing Ad Fraud and How to Seal the Cracks - The Drum

Read an interview between Shailin Dhar and Danielle Gibson of The Drum. In this interview, Shailin describes how current industry practices allow ad fraud to continue.

In addition, Shailin details MMI's "exoneration method", which starts with the assumption that traffic is invalid and seeks to validate, using a "guilty until proven innocent" approach to detection. In addition, MMI's traffic quality metrics are determined by measuring 100% of impression events as opposed to sampling only a fraction of a whole data set. 

For more, read the full interview.

Google AdWords Allows Targeting Using Phone Numbers, Addresses - AdAge

Read this article from AdAge, which details how "Google has expanded the consumer-targeting capabilities of its AdWords platform to let marketers use phone numbers and mailing addresses to reach their right people."

According to Method Media Intelligence's Praneet Sharma, this is a standard capability in the advertising industry. 

The advertising industry has been living a lie - Business Insider

Read an article from Mike Shields of Business Insider. In this piece, Shailin explains why marketers complaining about the lack of transparency in digital advertisements may equally be at fault, provided they are not examining domain reports.  

Ad Fraud Everywhere - Software Engineering Daily

Listen to Shailin Dhar's interview on the Software Engineering Daily Podcast. The focus of this podcast is how bots and poorly aligned incentives lead to systemic failures and significant financial loss for brands who purchase advertising.

MMI's Shailin Dhar Featured in LA AdTech Panel: Blockchain in AdTech

Shailin Dhar was featured in MetaX's LA AdTech Panel, hosted in Santa Monica, CA. The panel was composed of close to 100 people with backgrounds ranging from programmatic advertising to dApp development. 

Watch a recording of the event here.

Shailin Dhar Exposes Systemic Fraud in Digital Advertising

Read Shailin Dhar's interview with MetaX, where he outlines the challenges faced by participants in the digital marketing ecosystem. Then, Shailin discusses how implementation of blockchain can bring a new level of transparency to digital advertising.

Ad Fraud In Our Own Backyard - Software Engineering Daily

Listen to Shailin Dhar's interview on the Software Engineering Daily Podcast. The focus of this podcast is how the online advertising industry has become like a "casino", and the details about eZanga and its contract with the US Government.

Q&A...Ad Fraud - Stack

Ryan Kangisser, founder of Stack I/O, interviewed Method Media Intelligence's Shailin Dhar.

Ryan and Shailin discussed the recent ANA report, immediate challenges facing digital advertising, and how brands can tackle fraud. Shailin believes that firms need to start with education, because "If a brand’s marketing teams are empowered with the knowledge about ad-fraud it is much easier to hold their agencies and other ad-technology partners accountable when the issue of fraud arises."