While it may behoove you to take this research with the proverbial grain of salt as it was commissioned by a company whose mission is to ensure brands get the full return on their digital investment, a new study from Adloox found that ad fraud could have been as high as $12.48 billion in 20016 and may climb to $16.4 billion in 2017.
The study was commissioned by WPP-backed agency The&Partnership along with its media entity, m/Six. The $16.4 billion dollar figure is predicted based on the $12.48 billion 2016 figure which represented 20% of global digital ad spend and the fact that eMarketer predicts 2017 global digital ad spend will hit $80 billion in 2017.
The ANA has chimed in with its own findings that put ad fraud at $7 billion for 2016 and the World Federation of Advertising said ad fraud "is second only to the drug trade" and has predicted the amount of money lost to fraud will hit $50 billion by 2025.
You now, back in the day "ad fraud" amounted to a media outlet missing the placement of a commercial or its resulting make good. Oh and the fact that the media landscape wasn't filled with money grubbing shysters and "performance marketers" who will do anything and everything to get anyone and everyone to click on their shit.
On what can be done to solve the problem, The&Partnership Founder Johnny Hornby said, "Big-platform media owners are neglecting their responsibility to do the right thing by the valuable customers who buy ad space with them. The time has come for the Googles and Facebooks to stop marking their own homework, and allow specialist, third-party auditors inside their walled gardens – to verify the viewability, non-human traffic and brand safety scores they send back to clients. Only then will we truly break the back of the ad fraud problem."
Is he right?