Marketing industry fights back against online ad fraud

The marketing industry has taken the next step to cut down on ad fraud by offering publishers, agencies and ad tech providers the ability to verify their solutions if they actually reduce the risk of fraudulent advertising.

JICWEBS, which was set up in the UK by ISBA, the IAB, the AOP and the IPA to promote trusted digital ad trading, is to provide certifications to companies pursuing positive advertising strategies. Publishers, agencies and ad tech providers will all be audited to determine whether they are up to scratch against six principles:

  1. Educate yourself about traffic fraud and the risks that it poses to your business.
  2. Adopt policies and strategies to identify fraud and mitigate its impact.
  3. If you are an advertiser, set clear objectives for your media campaigns that focus on the measurement of real ROI, which is difficult for fraudsters to falsify. Measures such as click-through rate, completion rate, and last-touch attribution are easy to game.
  4. Practice safe sourcing and trust only business partners who have earned trust.
  5. Implement technology to detect and prevent fraud.
  6. Filter traffic through vendors who prioritise fraud detection

“Having already produced best practices and definitions, the production of certification principles marks a significant stage in reducing the risk of exposure to ad fraud,”
said Nigel Gwilliam, media and emerging technologies consultant at the IPA.

Read more: What marketers should be doing to tackle ad fraud

In order for companies to obtain the new JICWEBS certification, they will have to appoint a JICWEBS approved verification provider and be able to provide a ‘statement of compliance’ and evidence to the VP of the policies, procedures and solutions in place

JICWEBS’ Chairman Richard Foan is confident this is the right move to “minimise the effect of fraud across the whole industry. It will also complement the upcoming initiative to deliver increased transparency about different fraud detection across suppliers.”

Ad tech firms have welcomed the move, with Google saying it is supportive of a crackdown on the marketing industry’s $7.2bn ad problem. In January the company told Marketing Week that in 2015 it had disabled more than 780 million ads alone for violating its policies. A Google spokesperson stressed that the company has now dedicated more than 1,000 people to fighting bad ads, “not just on Google platforms but across the ecosystem”, as it is “investing a lot in fighting bad actors in the advertising space”.

Meanwhile, Nick Reid, UK MD of TubeMogul says: “We at TubeMogul believe that the JICWEBS initiative is a wonderful step forward for the industry. For too long brand advertisers have had to pay the price for ad misplacement and fraudulent activity. This programme takes the risk away from advertisers and put the pressure on publishers, ad tech providers and agencies – which is something we fully believe with.”



Ad fraud: The marketing industry’s $7.2bn problem

Sarah Vizard

Brands are continuing to waste billions of pounds on digital ads that consumers never see despite repeated warnings over the prevalence of ad fraud. It is time for marketers to step up and ensure they understand the issue and have procedures in place to deal with it or be more realistic about the efficacy of digital advertising.


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