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IAS Ad Fraud Responding to Media Quality Challenges Feb2020Poor media quality, including ad fraud, can lead to distrust and eventually threaten brand safety. Some platforms are more susceptible to this than others. In a survey composed mostly of publishers and agencies, Integral Ad Science (IAS) found that programmatic advertising is considered the most vulnerable environment followed by, display (both desktop and mobile in-app) and social media.

Indeed, programmatic advertising is perceived to be most vulnerable to ad fraud in 2020, with two-thirds (66%) of the digital media professionals surveyed citing its vulnerability. This concern about programmatic advertising being a prime platform for ad fraud is nothing new. Earlier research has shown that issues like ad fraud and non-human traffic are considered one of the most negative aspects of buying ads programmatically.

Programmatic isn’t the only digital environment respondents see as vulnerable to ad fraud, though. Some 42% believe that desktop display is vulnerable, while another 40% feel that mobile in-app display ads are susceptible to fraud. And, as global spending on social media advertising is forecasted to grow in the coming years, 37% of respondents feel that social media is also vulnerable to ad fraud this year.

Recognizing the threat that ad fraud and media quality issues pose, agencies and publishers are putting tactics in place to minimize the media quality challenges they’ll face this year. Most respondents (62%) are using viewability measurement to ensure quality. Additionally, 3 in 5 (59%) say they have brand safety and suitability mitigation in place, while another 54% are using brand safety and suitability monitoring.

Almost half (47%) of respondents say they will use ad fraud mitigation as part of their tactics to minimize media quality issues. But who is most responsible for this? Some 49% of agencies and publishers place the responsibility in the hands of verification technology providers. Others say that publishers (48%) and supply-side platforms (47%) should be responsible for it. Fewer respondents say that demand-side platforms (31%), agencies (14%) and brands (12%) should be mitigating ad fraud.

While media quality and ad fraud are challenges for digital media professionals this year, another one of the top challenges that 44% of respondents expect to face is data privacy legislation. Increased data privacy regulations are not a surprise to most agencies or publishers. However, as seen with the recent implementation of CCPA, understanding and complying with new regulations is easier said than done.

The full report can be accessed here.

About the Data: The report is based on a survey of 416 digital media professionals with the majority being from agencies (50%) or publishers (26%). The survey was fielded in Q4 2019.

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