By Tanisha Sakhawat, Senior Business Director EMEA at DoubleVerify
According to market research, digital media channels accounted for almost 70% of the $6.5 billion spent on advertising in 2020 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This was heavily fuelled by consumers pivoting to a virtual world following the pandemic. With large budgets at play, it’s crucial for advertisers to ensure their ad dollars or dirhams aren’t wasted. Having ads appear in environments that drive engagement begins with quality. This means appearing on brand-suitable sites and apps and, most importantly, actually being seen by a real human. That's where DoubleVerify’s fraud protection comes in.
What is ad fraud and how can you avoid it?
What’s the point of an ad if it isn’t seen by a real human? Ad fraud, also referred to as invalid traffic (IVT), is the false representation of online advertising impressions, clicks, conversions, or data events, in order for a fraudster to siphon your ad spend. These fraudulent activities can manipulate the outcome of a media transaction, significantly impacting an advertiser’s ability to generate ROI — resulting in media revenue wastage.
A bot, for example, can do almost everything a human can do online, apart from making a financial transaction. So, if a fraudster deploys a bot to multiple premium websites, then filled in a newsletter form on a travel site, that bot is now deemed to be a premium travel audience. A brand might target that ‘audience,’ but actually, it’s giving money to the fraudster. This is why having protection throughout the media buying transaction is so crucial. According to DoubleVerify’s 2021 Global Insights Report, the UAE alone saw a 37% year-over-year increase in fraud/SIVT rates from 2020, and this isn’t being protected due to lack of verification usage in the region.
When there’s a significant amount of money at play, such as the $6.5 billion mentioned earlier, fraud and IVT follow. Ad fraud remains one of the digital advertising industry’s biggest hurdles. However, thanks to the technological advances in verification tools, together with the use of machine-learning technology, our industry is actively working together to build solutions that limit the impact of fraudsters across all channels, formats, and devices. Working with verification providers like DoubleVerify protects digital ad buyers throughout the media transaction — from pre-bid avoidance segments to post-bid monitoring and blocking.
Let’s start with pre-bid. DoubleVerify certifies major demand-side platforms (DSPs) and server-side platforms (SSPs) to help eliminate fraud at the source. By simply ticking the Fraud/SIVT avoidance option within the DSPs, for example, you’re already protecting yourself from buying fraudulent impressions. How do you know when you are buying fraud? Well, by wrapping your creative tag in a DV OmniTag. This tag allows us to detect and block fraud once the ad has been purchased. We then use this data to inform our pre-bid segments and alert our platform partners. With over a decade of experience and a dedicated fraud lab, DV works with the world’s biggest advertisers, as well as the FBI, to help catch Internet fraud rings and save media investments from being wasted.
At the end of the day, advertisers should have full confidence in their media investments, and fraud prevention is crucial in reaching that goal.