You mean to tell me the major TV networks have been committing fraud all this time?
by Joe Mandese, Oct 25, 2013, 11:12 AM
That would seem to be the case based on the defnition of video advertsiing fraud presented by Integrated Ad Science's Mike Iantosca on the "How Bad Is The Inventory" panel during this morning's session of the Video Insider Summit in Montauk, Long Island.
The definition of "fraud," he said, is "an impression not viewed by a human." Since not all ad impressions broadcast by television networks are actually seen by a viewer (ie. because they are skipping, fast-forwarding, or just not looking at them), the major nets could be considered some of the biggest con artists bilking Madison Avenue. Needless to say, that's not part of the business model -- or at least, the unspoken agreement -- between advertisers, agencies and TV networks. But it apparently is in online video.
According to Iantosca, as much as "60%" of online video ads are "not being viewed."
Most of the not-viewing behavior he was referring to comes from outright fraudulent behavior, such as ads being servied on parts of pages that are not even viewable by a user, or even worse, by a machine -- a so-called botnet -- that isnt even a human being. And until those botnets start buying (or at least showing some form of purchase intent) for the brands advertising online, it is a serous form of advertising fraud.
That's not always criminal intent, said Ignited's LJ Kobe, thought it definitely needs to be managed and safe-guarded.
"We as agencies are entrusted with out clients' dollars and that is not something we should take lightly," she explained, adding, "For me, I focus more from a fraud perspective on the viewability and the quality of hte content surrounding out clients' ads."
In a more explicit form of criminal fraud, White Ops' Jay Benach said the bots are getting much more sophisticated, and that Madison Avenue needs to arm itself with better defensive technologies to protect against a wide range of fraudulent entities, including netbots, "scrapers," and "oterh malicious agents."
One of the problems, said Benach, is those forms of fraud are "not even distributed," meaning they pop-up, go away and come back somewhere else again.
"Fraud is not steady state," he said, "Meaning it can show up and disappear very quickly."