Blacklisting and Whitelisting to Fight Rampant Online Ad Fraud


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Many services have sprung up to help detect and mitigate ad fraud from bad actors and bots. In addition to this blacklisting methodology, advertisers should consider using human whitelisting as a methodology too.

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Blacklisting and Whitelisting to Fight Rampant Online Ad Fraud

  1. 1. Augustine Fou- 1 - Dr. Augustine Fou October 2013 Blacklisting vs Whitelisting
  2. 2. Augustine Fou- 2 - 480 billion display ad impressions /mo Ad Waste from Fraud 29% confirmed bot traffic $1 - $3.50 cost per thousand $2-6 billion wasted ad spend (annualized) Display Ad Fraud 20.1 billion video ad impressions /mo 40% estimated fake views ~$10 cost per thousand $1 billion wasted ad spend (annualized) Video Ad Fraud Source: Vindico, 2013Source: Solve Media 2013
  3. 3. Augustine Fou- 3 - 480B Display Ads /mo 480 billion display ads per month (1,439 billion display ads per quarter) Source: comeScore Report Feb 2013
  4. 4. Augustine Fou- 4 - Percent of Traffic From Bots Augustine Fou- 4 - Source: Solve Media via Marketing Charts September 12, 2013
  5. 5. Augustine Fou- 5 - 20B Video Ads / mo 20.1 billion video ads per month Source: comScore June 2013 Video Ads Report
  6. 6. Augustine Fou- 6 - “40% of video ad views are fraud” – Matt Timothy Source: Vindico, 2013
  7. 7. Augustine Fou- 7 - docs/GlobalDigitalAudReport_FF2.pdf Video Ad CPM vs Display Ad CPM Source: Turn via Marketing Charts April 17, 2013 Video CPM: ~$10 Display CPM: ~$1
  8. 8. Augustine Fou- 8 - “Blacklisting fraudulent websites is important, but bad guys easily stay one step ahead by creating thousands of new sites using algorithms. It also doesn‟t solve the „fake traffic‟ issue now plaguing display and video ad impressions.” -- Dr. Augustine Fou
  9. 9. Augustine Fou- 9 - Industry Initiatives Solve Media Using CAPTCHAs to detect humans versus bots. Global Bot Traffic on Pace to Waste Up to $9.5 billion in 2013 Ad Budgets. Sep 2013 Nielsen/IAB Algo detection of bot-like activity and other malware. Botnet Costing Display Advertisers $6 Million per month. Feb 2013 Industry working group to define ad viewability. Viewable rates (of display ads) ranged from 14% to 79%. IntegralAds (AdSafe) Verify ad placement against blacklist of known fraudulent websites. Viewable rates (of display ads) ranged from 14% to 79%. DoubleVerify Ad placement, behavioral compliance, fraud detection PageFair Ad blocking detection WhiteOps Realtime bot detection algorithms
  10. 10. Augustine Fou- 10 - Forms of Ad Waste I didn’t get what I paid for: • 10% never get loaded into the browser – Moat • 31% are never “in-view” (fraud or not) – comScore • 20-80% are off demo target (depending on density) – Nielsen • 29% are served to bots – Solve Media • 20-40% are over frequency (bots or not) – Audience Science • 5-30% are served outside your market geography – comScore • 10% (est.) Dwell time < 1 second – SWAG • 5% Overzealous Ad Verification – SWAG • 20% Video: Autoplay, Sound off, Below the fold – TubeMogul Net using average values and statistical overlap: 87% wasted Source: Ted McConnell, Brand Innovators Summit
  11. 11. Augustine Fou- 11 - “oh, don‟t worry… it (fraud) is already „priced in‟” Many brands and their media agencies have said they need the impressions and the fraud is “acceptable” because it’s already been “priced in” due to CPM discounts – i.e. lower cost for lower quality. but …
  12. 12. Augustine Fou- 12 - Blacklisting to Whitelisting FROM: Blacklisting fraudulent websites, detecting botnets and fake views… TO Whitelisting humans who advertisers actually want to see their ads … the ad is still valueless to the advertiser if no human saw it.
  13. 13. Augustine Fou- 13 - Related Articles Bad Guys Happily Rob Display Advertisers By: Augustine Fou, July 23, 2012 Everything Fake (Display Ad Fraud, Search Click Fraud) By: Augustine Fou, April 2013 Search Kicks Display in Effectiveness By: Augustine Fou, April 23, 2013 Fake Profiles on Facebook By: Augustine Fou, July 2013 Polarizing Advertising: Branding vs Performance By: Augustine Fou, April 9, 2013 Augustine Fou- 13 -
  14. 14. Augustine Fou- 14 - Dr. Augustine Fou – Digital Consigliere “I advise clients on optimizing advertising across all channels. Using insights and fast-feedback loops from digital, we can not only target brand ads better, but we can shift towards more detailed measurement and ROI.” FORMER CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER, HCG (OMNICOM) MCKINSEY CONSULTANT CLIENT SIDE / AGENCY SIDE EXPERIENCE PROFESSOR AND COLUMNIST ENTREPRENEUR / SMALL BUSINESS OWNER PHD MATERIALS SCIENCE (MIT '95) AT AGE 23 @acfou ClickZ Articles: Slideshares: LinkedIn:
  15. 15. Augustine Fou- 15 - APPENDIX
  16. 16. Augustine Fou- 16 - Levels of Unscrupulosity Legit Pre-Roll Ad • does not auto play • lets users skip the rest of the ad • homepage takeover • auto plays when page loads • entire is made to click thru Autoplay Takeover Ad Bad Actors [ screen shot ] (censored) • multiple ads per page • autoplay video ads • ads • click pops up another video ad • ads in hidden iframes Bad actors use many techniques to inflate video ad play numbers because of CPM model