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Indian marketers spend nearly 20% of advertising budget on ad fraud: MMA’s ad fraud benchmark report

With a rate of 62%, mobile ad fraud remains as one of the biggest challenges in India

The Mobile Marketing Association has released an ‘Ad Fraud Benchmark Report’ on the state of mobile ad fraud in India. The report revealed interesting facts about the level of cheating, awareness in the country and aims to help marketers benchmark their exposure to various kinds of frauds.

The report has been published in collaboration with research firm Decision Lab to understand the current industry practices around ad fraud and the methods adopted by marketers. It highlights the rising and prevalent issues such as adware traffic, ad stacking, domain spoofing, which will help marketers understand organisational challenges and combination of various measures to tackle the problems effectively.

Key highlights from the report are:

  • With a rate of 62%, mobile ad fraud remains as one of the biggest challenges in India
  • Indian marketers spend nearly 20% of their advertising budget on ad fraud
  • 9/10 marketers feel there is scope for improvement in ad fraud prevention methods
  • 95% of respondents feel that the lack of penalties and transparency in industry regulations give rise to ad fraud
  • 95% of respondents agreed that lack of data sharing and a large number of middlemen are also a cause of ad fraud risks
  • Major types of ad fraud – Cookie Stuffing (74%), Adware Traffic (65%), Data Fraud (61%), Ad Injection (54%)
  • Only 37% of respondents are aware of Blockchain and its application to fraud prevention

Mobile ad fraud is a top marketing challenge that companies are currently combatting and is expected to increase in the future. The perpetrator is believed to be benefiting from the fraud and it is furthered by the lack of penalty and transparency between partners. The most common approach when it comes to preventing and tackling fraud is to involve an external solution. Popular providers are Integral Ad Science and Moat. Marketers’ needs for real-time analysis and proactive tracking have been addressed by the vendors. Marketers are satisfied with the service received but not many claims to have completely eliminated ad fraud. Many are unfamiliar with the risk of fraud in mobile data (including location) and social format. Ad networks, mobile web and static display are considered to be the riskiest area.

Speaking on the launch, Moneka Khurana, Country Head, MMA India, said, “In India, awareness on ad fraud risks is very low with almost a fifth of the marketers being unclear of their ad fraud budget and the majority of them believing that fraudulent activities will only increase. Brand safety on mobile is the biggest concern today and this benchmark report clearly demonstrates this needs immediate addressal. Marketers will need to be extra cautious to attacks such as ad injections, data fraud, cookie stuffing. Marketers must understand the potential of technologies such as Blockchain that can help solve issues related to fraud and create security and transparency in the mobile marketing ecosystem.”

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