DoubleVerify: Fraud Schemes Spiked 70% In 2021

The quality of digital content varies based on fraud and viewability rates regardless of the amount marketers spent on digital advertising — more than $440 billion in 2021, according to MAGNA, now accounting for 62% of ad spend worldwide.

DoubleVerify recently released its 2022 Global Insights Report, which cites a peer-reviewed study conducted by New York University and the Université Grenoble Alpes between August 2020 and January 2021, showing articles that perpetuate disinformation generated six times more likes, shares and interactions on Facebook versus stories from trusted news sources. That's pretty amazing.

The DoubleVerify 2022 Global Insights Report examines media quality and performance trends from more than a trillion ads delivered across about 2,100 brands in 80 markets. This report -- the fifth of its kind since 2017 -- provides a market-by-market analysis for North America, LATAM, EMEA and APAC across video and display impressions measured year-over-year (YoY) from January through December 2021, compared with the prior year. It covers desktop and mobile web, mobile app and connected television (CTV).



In 2021, DoubleVerify detected an increase in the number of CTV fraud schemes, each more sophisticated than the last used to siphon millions in ad spend intended for premium ad inventory.

The number of fraud schemes revealed globally spiked by 70% year-over-year from 2020 to 2021.

That year, a number of schemes targeted CTV and video. The most complex and sophisticated of these included OctoBot, SneakyTerra, ViperBot and SmokeScreen. These schemes attempted to steal between $6 million and $8 million monthly from advertisers.

CTV fraud schemes also cost publishers -- with DoubleVerify estimating CTV schemes may have siphoned $144 million from publishers in 2021.

While the company saw a spike in CTV schemes, quality continued to stabilize, with a 9% decline in brand safety and sustainability violations, and 7% declines in fraud violations. The data also notes a 1% increase in the display viewability rate, and a 4% increase in video viewability rate.

New challenges and opportunities also emerged in 2021. The data shows that experienced accounts saw a 6% decline in violation rates, 23% audible and in-view on completion (AVOC), and 7% average viewable time. The data also identified a 61% adoption of the brand-safety floor, and a more than 70% increase in fraud schemes.

Increased adoption of activation solutions for pre-bid and pre-render verification drove declines in post-bid violations. Advertisers who deploy verification strategies throughout the media transaction saw improvement in the quality of digital buys. Over the past year, post-bid violation rates fell 6%.

This is defined by the rate of measured brand safety and suitability, fraud and geo infractions after pre-bid avoidance takes place.  

Devices and regions play an interesting role when it comes to quality. In EMEA and APAC, DoubleVerify monitors more ads on mobile as a percentage of total ads in their regions compared with other regions. The data shows a 12% lower display viewable rate on the mobile web verusus mobile apps, as well as an 8% lower video viewable rate, and 120% higher brand-suitability violation rate, respectively.

While APAC favors mobile apps, EMEA favors the mobile web. Viewability is generally lower on the mobile web, and brand suitability violations are higher. This may be one reason why EMEA still sees high brand-suitability violations and has the lowest display viewable rates of all the regions.

More than 80% of web traffic in North America comes from high-volume domains, about 70% of traffic in LATAM and 60% of traffic in APAC.

EMEA gets nearly half its traffic from longtail domains. One likely reason for this trend is the EMEA markets covered by DoubleVerify are translated or appear in more languages than do the markets the company covers in other regions.

The majority of high-volume sites globally are still in English, but longtail domains can help reach consumers on non-English content.

Longtail websites in aggregate, however, tend to drive more brand suitability violations, which the data suggests contributes to EMEA lagging behind other regions in this area.

In North America, viewability rates are still just below the 70% threshold recommended by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

North America continues to lead globally when it comes to brand suitability, with violations falling by 10% year-over-year.

Fraud and system-integration verification and tests fell somewhat year-over-year, but North America still has the highest fraud rate and is responsible for driving up the global average.

1 comment about "DoubleVerify: Fraud Schemes Spiked 70% In 2021".
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  1. Philip Verghese 'Ariel' from Philipscom, June 20, 2022 at 3:47 p.m.

    Hi Laurie,
    What a shocking news it is!
    The number of fraud schemes revealed globally spiked by 70% year-over-year from 2020 to 2021.
    Thanks for the alert you brought out by this post.
    I am so glad to connect this post link to one of my articles titled  "11 SEO Strategies Techniques And Tips For Bloggers [Infographic]" on my blog at philipscom.
    Thanks for the informative share.
    Keep sharing.
    With All Good Wishes from Philipscom Associates Secunderabad India 

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