Annual count of new fraud schemes up over twofold in 2020-2022: Nachiket Deole
In conversation with Adguly, Nachiket Deole, Head of Sales – India, DoubleVerify, speaks at length about ad frauds and how brands should be aware of it; It’s collaboration with platforms like Netflix, Meta, X, etc.; How DoubleVerify plans to address the upcoming challenges, trends, and much more…
What are the various forms of ad fraud that brands and advertisers must be aware of?
In the dynamic landscape of digital advertising, combating ad fraud is a significant challenge for brands and advertisers alike. Ad fraud generally includes a range of deceptive and malicious activities that artificially inflate ad engagement metrics, waste advertising budgets, and undermine the integrity of digital marketing campaigns. According to our latest Global Insights Report for 2023, the annual count of new fraud schemes and their iterations identified by DoubleVerify has surged more than twofold between 2020 and 2022.
Therefore, it is imperative for brands to stay vigilant against different types of ad fraud. We at DoubleVerify stand as a stalwart ally in the fight against all kinds of fraud – to cite a few examples:
- Site/ App Fraud: Advertisements displayed on websites or applications associated with unethical activities or experiencing excessive amounts of non-human traffic.
- Bot Fraud: Ad requests initiated by automated or non-human entities.
- Data Center Traffic: Ad requests stemming from data servers that are unlikely to be operated by human users.
- Injected Ads: Ads displayed on locations within a website or app that are not naturally part of its content and are forced onto the user’s device through adware or malware. The website or app doesn't have any documentation or compensation for these injected ads because they operate through distinct supply channels that are independent of the publisher.
- Hijacked Device: This form of fraud occurs when adware or malware infiltrates user devices, such as phones, laptops, or connected TVs, causing them to generate ad requests without any genuine user interaction automatically.
- Emulators: Computers or data servers employing software to mimic actions typically associated with mobile or connected TV (CTV) devices.
Because ad fraud is ever-evolving as new channels emerge and fraudsters create new techniques, it’s crucial for advertisers to stay informed on detection and prevention best practices.
Connected TV (CTV) consumption is on the rise. Could you elaborate on the challenges that advertisers face in ensuring their ads are seen by genuine audiences in the CTV environment?
As per our Global Insights Report 2023, the growth in streaming subscriptions, including free and ad-supported plans, propels the CTV surge. While the rise of CTV consumption has opened a new channel for advertisers, it comes with unique challenges in ensuring ads reach genuine audiences. Here are some topmost concerns:
- Ad Fraud: Ensuring ads are protected from fraudulent activities such as hijacked devices, bot fraud, and injected ads, amongst others.
- Viewability: Verifying that ads are seen while fully on screen, with the TV on, and understanding how much of the ad played.
- Precision targeting: Reaching the right audience with limited data sharing and privacy concerns.
- Content Control: Placing ads in brand-suitable and alongside contextually relevant content.
To address these challenges, advertisers in the CTV environment must adopt strategies such as using reliable ad verification and fraud detection tools, implementing brand suitability controls, and collaborating with trusted CTV platforms and partners.
What role does DoubleVerify play in helping advertisers navigate the cookieless future and maintain effective audience targeting and measurement?
As major web browsers deprecate third-party cookies, businesses and marketers are actively exploring alternative strategies to connect with their target audiences. As reported by eMarketer, 63% of advertisers consider campaign optimisation the most challenging task in a cookieless digital landscape. This emphasises the need for privacy-forward measurement and activation that enable advertisers to assess and optimise campaign performance.
DV has been at the forefront of empowering digital media quality and performance for over a decade, and we offer a number of solutions that help advertisers understand and drive performance in a privacy-friendly way. Our Custom Contextual solution offers privacy-safe, cookie-free activation that matches ads with relevant content to enhance user engagement, create more significant interactions, and boost conversions.
DV Authentic Attention is another privacy-friendly tool for measuring an ad’s impact through ad exposure and engagement. A recent DV report, Post-Cookie Questions: The Evolution of Advertising Strategies and Sentiments, found that brands increasingly recognise the value of attention as a shared perspective among publishers and advertisers in a cookieless world. As mentioned in the report, a staggering 96% of advertisers plan to integrate attention-based metrics into a majority or a portion of their ad buys in 2023. By embracing privacy-friendly solutions such as attention and privacy-safe solutions such as contextual, advertisers can still achieve performance for their media campaigns in the cookieless future.
Attention-based metrics are gaining traction as a way to measure the effectiveness of ads. Could you explain what attention-based metrics are and how they differ from traditional engagement metrics?
Attention-based metrics go beyond traditional media metrics like viewability. They assess an ad’s exposure and engagement, considering factors like view time and ad interaction, providing a brand with a strong proxy for tangible KPIs across the marketing funnel. DV has found that ad exposure correlates with branding KPIs such as brand awareness or favorability, and user engagement correlates with direct response KPIs such as conversions. This approach empowers advertisers to measure an ad’s true impact and make informed decisions for campaign optimisation, ultimately leading to better business outcomes.
At DoubleVerify, we offer a performance solution known as DV Authentic Attention, which conducts real-time analysis of digital ad exposure and consumer engagement based on over 50 data points. To assess exposure, DV Authentic Attention comprehensively evaluates an ad’s presentation, measuring viewable time, screen share, video display, audibility, and more to determine its intensity and prominence. Regarding engagement, DV Authentic Attention measures user-initiated events during ad display, including user interactions like touches, screen orientation changes, video playback, and audio controls.
DoubleVerify has collaborated with prominent organisations like Netflix, Meta, and Twitter. Could you share some insights into how these partnerships contribute to combating ad fraud and ensuring media quality?
The well-known companies we partner with across unique environments like social media and CTV, represent vital advertising channels for our clients. It’s important to us at DV to continue establishing and deepening partnerships that enable our clients to measure and enhance performance across all their advertising placements. By providing innovative tools for brand safety, fraud solutions, campaign optimisation, and measurement, we confidently equip these companies to navigate the intricate digital landscape.
Our partnership with Netflix empowers advertisers to achieve higher media quality by verifying the viewability of video ads across the streaming platform. By leveraging our technology and data, this collaboration safeguards campaigns from fraud and invalid traffic while promoting actual viewership. This aligns with Netflix’s upcoming ad-supported tier, benefiting advertisers.
Further, our collaboration with Meta enables advertisers to measure viewability and safeguard against fraud and invalid traffic. As short-form, user-generated content such as Reels gains momentum, our verification solutions aim to support advertisers in achieving media quality for their social advertising campaigns.
Likewise, our partnership with X (formerly Twitter) extends brand safety and suitability measurement to their feed, giving advertisers content insights and enhancing brand alignment. We also help X authenticate the quality of video ads on their platform, reinforcing our commitment to advertisers’ content adjacency concerns.
What differentiates DoubleVerify’s technology and approach in the field of media verification, especially in comparison to other players in the industry?
We at DoubleVerify lead the industry with innovative technology and a comprehensive approach to driving media quality and performance for brands, setting new standards for excellence.
A few key distinguishing factors that set us apart from other players in the field:
- Actionability: DV offers turnkey, AI-driven tools that tangibly drive media efficiency and effectiveness. Our solutions take advertisers from quality (fraud, viewability, brand suitability, geo) to performance (attention, contextual, automated bidding), to protect advertisers’ campaigns and drive real business outcomes - at scale, and in real-time.
- Scale: DV’s unmatched scale – with integrations across 27 DSPs, 11 SSPs & ad exchanges, 150 publishers, 9 social and proprietary platforms, and 300B transactions processed daily – enables advertisers to measure, optimize and protect campaigns wherever they run.
- Innovation: An ongoing investment in our technology allows us to bring cutting-edge, future-proofed solutions to our clients. Our core verification products and algorithmic performance solutions are powered by AI and machine learning, facilitating quality evaluation at scale, and helping advertisers optimize their campaigns based on the KPIs that matter most to them.
- Independence: DV is an agnostic provider with comprehensive third-party accreditations based on audits by the MRC, TAG and other international associations, providing our clients with trusted measurement and data transparency. We have more accreditations than any other provider, and partner with associations across the globe to help drive transparency and advocacy for brands as they seek to connect with consumers in a privacy-safe way.
To sum it up, by prioritising innovation, automation, and collaboration with industry leaders, we help to safeguard brands’ reputations and maximise their advertising investments - remain the trusted, data-driven media verification partner.
Could you highlight any recent innovative solutions that DoubleVerify has introduced to tackle new challenges in digital media measurement, data, and analytics?
In the fast-paced world of advertising technology, we at DoubleVerify thrive on innovation. Our commitment to innovation is evident in introducing several groundbreaking solutions that tackle emerging digital media measurement, data, and analytics challenges. To cite a few:
- Scibids AI, a Dynamic AI Activation Solution: DV recently acquired Scibids, a global leader in AI-powered digital campaign optimization. By combining DV’s proprietary data with Scibids’ best-in-class AI technology, DV empowers brands with unparalleled insights and control over their advertising performance. For the first time, global advertisers can combine end-to-end granular measurement and optimization at scale. Scibids AI enables clients to optimize toward custom KPIs that are not traditionally available in DSPs and incorporate new and innovative metrics - such as attention - into their activation strategies. For example, with attention data as an input, clients can leverage Scibids AI to optimize toward the best-performing inventory at the best price. In-market campaign tests with a number of Fortune 500 brands demonstrated powerful results on average, showing a 63% increase in attention levels and a 95% increase in impressions won across several campaigns.
- DV Campaign Automator for Google Campaign Manager 360: This solution streamlines the campaign trafficking process by automating tasks such as campaign creation, tag management, billing, and reporting. It eliminates manual touchpoints and reduces setup time by up to 85%, enhancing operational efficiency and campaign activation speed. This technology works across various formats and devices, including desktop, mobile web, mobile app, and CTV.
Looking ahead, what trends do you foresee regarding ad fraud and media quality, and how is DoubleVerify preparing to address these trends?
One significant trend is the growing sophistication of ad fraud driven by AI and automation.
We’re leading the charge against this trend through a multifaceted approach. Our adaptable detection algorithms, powered by advanced AI and machine learning, swiftly identify evolving fraud patterns. Real-time monitoring allows us to respond promptly to emerging threats, preserving campaign integrity.
Additionally, we’ve integrated fraud detection and media quality verification directly into leading programmatic platforms to minimise vulnerabilities in automated ad transactions. These integrations enhance ad verification efficiency and effectiveness for brand safety and ad quality across the programmatic ecosystem.
AI will also have positive impacts across the advertising industry. In particular, the predictive ability of machine learning can be leveraged to identify optimal bid prices for ad placements, considering multiple data points and interactions. Scibids AI, integrated across leading DSPs, enables brands to take full advantage of these capabilities to automate programmatic buying, analysis, and optimisation of their digital ad campaigns. Scibids AI can ingest multiple data sources, including DV’s media quality and performance data, first-party data, DSP log-level data, and more. This provides brands with the flexibility to optimise towards multiple, custom KPIs.
Another trend is the dynamic landscape of emerging and growing channels, including CTV. DV pioneers tailored solutions to verify inventory legitimacy and detect potential fraud, protecting advertisers and publishers across emerging channels. Our relentless commitment to research and development, strategic partnerships, and innovative product offerings ensures we remain at the forefront of industry trends and evolving environments. This proactive approach empowers advertisers to stay ahead of emerging challenges, including the ever-present threat of fraud across channels.
In conclusion, at DoubleVerify, we remain vigilant and innovative in countering evolving ad fraud. With advanced technology, real-time monitoring, platform integration, and industry collaboration, we help to protect advertisers’ campaigns from fraud and uphold high media quality standards.