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2021 update on ad fraud brand safety privacy

digital ad fraud is as rampant as ever; new ripples caused by privacy regulations are starting to affect the market. and more BS from trade associations pretending to be doing something

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2021 update on ad fraud brand safety privacy

  1. 1. February 2021 / Page 0 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Update on Ad Fraud, Brand Safety, Privacy February 2021 Augustine Fou, PhD. acfou [at] mktsci.com
  2. 2. February 2021 / Page 1 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Ad Fraud: 2021
  3. 3. February 2021 / Page 2 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou
  4. 4. February 2021 / Page 3 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou streamscam ctv fraud monarch ctv fraud CTV Fraud Cases: 2020-21 Mar 2020 Apr 2020 Dec 2020 “Monarch” “IceBucket” “StreamScam” Sep 2020 “MultiTerra” Parrotterra ctv fraud https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/grindr-roku-apps-ad-fraud-scheme https://www.adweek.com/programmatic/pixalate-ad-fraud-scheme-roku-murkiness-ctv/ https://www.marketingdive.com/news/recent-ctv-ad-fraud-scheme-could-be-biggest-ever/576226/ https://www.axios.com/multiterra-ad-fraud-scheme-911438e5-4a9d-4f2f-9284-e523bbe779f5.html https://adage.com/article/digital/how-streamscam-made-145-million-no-streaming-content-and-ads-were-served-no-one/2302241 https://www.adexchanger.com/digital-tv/doubleverify-uncovers-largest-ctv-ad-fraud-scheme-to-date/ Jan 2021 “ParrotTerra” Jan 2020 “DiCaprio”
  5. 5. February 2021 / Page 4 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Malvertising, Redirect Attacks Large-scale malvertising attacks continue through ad networks December 2020 https://blog.confiant.com/the- trend-of-client-side- fingerprinting-in-cloaked-landing- pages-21915eb473df January 2021 https://blog.confiant.com/persistent -malvertising-attacker-dccboost- raged-as-the-year-faded- 4d09340cd3f5 February 2021 https://blog.confiant.com/malvertiser- scamclub-bypasses-iframe-sandboxing- with-postmessage-shenanigans-cve- 2021-1801-1c998378bfba February 2021 https://blog.confiant.com/malvertisin g-made-in-china-f5081521b3f0
  6. 6. February 2021 / Page 5 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Mobile apps on millions of phones Mobile apps monetize by loading ad impressions, on real devices August 2020 https://www.zdnet.com/article/g oogle-play-apps-promised-free- shoes-but-users-got-ad-fraud- malware-instead/ March 2020 https://thehackernews.com/202 0/03/android-apps-ad-fraud.html June 2020 https://nakedsecurity.sophos.co m/2020/06/17/more-ad-fraud- apps-found-hiding-on-google- play-store/ Feb 2020 https://www.marketingdive.com/ news/google-removes-600-apps- from-google-play-to-reduce-ad- fraud/572700/
  7. 7. February 2021 / Page 6 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Industry downplayed fraud “The 11 percent decline in two years is particularly noteworthy” – ANA (2019) “IVT is between 1 – 3%, except in China (31%)” – GroupM (2019) “IVT is 1.41%” – TAG (2019)
  8. 8. February 2021 / Page 7 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Overall fraud is more than just bots Sites and apps that cheat may look fine in bot detection reports 1.3% + 57% = 58% bot fraud site/app fraud overall fraud bot detection sees this bot detection misses this
  9. 9. February 2021 / Page 8 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Not humans, something else
  10. 10. February 2021 / Page 9 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Brand Safety: 2021
  11. 11. February 2021 / Page 10 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Brand Safety Defunded Real News Source: adalytics.io “4 in 10 articles on wsj.com receive conflicting brand safety values be labeled as ‘safe’/‘unsafe’ or ‘unsafe’/‘safe’ by the two BS vendors.”
  12. 12. February 2021 / Page 11 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou BS Funded Fake News/Disinfo Fake local news sites tricked users, committed ad fraud for years fake local news sites coronavirus disinfo
  13. 13. February 2021 / Page 12 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Local news killed by fake news Local news sites relied on ad revenue; fake sites stole ad budgets McClatchy Bankruptcy 1,300 local news “deserts” 2,000 newspapers died
  14. 14. February 2021 / Page 13 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou MRC accreditation for BS Accreditation covers up the abuse and enables it to continue
  15. 15. February 2021 / Page 14 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Privacy: 2021
  16. 16. February 2021 / Page 15 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Hypertargeting, crappy params Ad tech myths designed to keep advertisers spending 1 parameter: gender 42% accuracy 2 params: gender+age 24% accuracy
  17. 17. February 2021 / Page 16 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Audiences Stolen, Fake Oncologists Journal of Clinical Oncology “cookie matching” Bots pretend to be oncologists by collecting cookie Attract ad dollars to fake sites when retargeted
  18. 18. February 2021 / Page 17 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Regulations and Monopolies Beyond GDPR/CCPA, moves by Google and Apple cause ripples
  19. 19. February 2021 / Page 18 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Impact on Marketers
  20. 20. February 2021 / Page 19 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Chase: -99% reach, no impact “JPMorgan had already decided last year to oversee its own programmatic buying operation. Advertisements for JPMorgan Chase were appearing on about 400,000 websites a month. [But] only 12,000, or 3 percent, led to activity beyond an impression. [Then, Chase] limited its display ads to about 5,000 websites. We haven’t seen any deterioration on our performance metrics,” Ms. Lemkau said.” “99% reduction in ‘reach’ … Same Results.” Source: NYTimes, March 29, 2017 (because it wasn’t real, human reach)
  21. 21. February 2021 / Page 20 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou P&G: cut $200M, no impact “Once we got transparency, it illuminated what reality was,” said Mr. Pritchard. P&G then took matters into its owns hands and voted with its dollars, he said.” “As we all chased the Holy Grail of digital, self-included, we were relinquishing too much control— blinded by shiny objects, overwhelmed by big data, and ceding power to algorithms,” Mr. Pritchard said. Source: WSJ, March 2018
  22. 22. February 2021 / Page 21 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Uber: cut 80%, no change • Uber cut $120M from $150M, signups remained steady; paid signups dropped, and organic signups increased to replace it. • Uber sued 100 mobile exchanges for falsifying placement reports and fabricating transparency reports.
  23. 23. February 2021 / Page 22 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Supply chain costs/inefficiencies Source: WFA, April 2016 Source: ANA, May 2015 Source: ISBA, May 2020 “only half of the dollar goes through to the publisher, for showing ads” “on top of that 15% goes ‘missing’ and cannot be accounted for” “went missing”
  24. 24. February 2021 / Page 23 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Fraud Detection Tech is Useless
  25. 25. February 2021 / Page 24 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou False Positives; False Negatives Many examples of incorrect measurements; harm to publishers
  26. 26. February 2021 / Page 25 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Bad guys easily avoid detection Blocking of tags, altering measurement to avoid detection Detection Tag Blocking— analytics tags/fraud detection tags are accidentally blocked or maliciously stripped out “malicious code manipulated data to ensure that otherwise unviewable ads showed up in measurement systems as valid impressions, which resulted in payment being made for the ad.” Source: Buzzfeed, March 2018
  27. 27. February 2021 / Page 26 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Traffic sellers’ “high quality traffic” Many sources to buy “traffic” and even tune “quality” level Choose Your “Traffic Quality Level” “Valid traffic” goes for higher prices
  28. 28. February 2021 / Page 27 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Legit sites incorrectly marked Domain (spoofed) % SIVT esquire.com 77% travelchannel.com 76% foodnetwork.com 76% popularmechanics.com 74% latimes.com 72% reuters.com 71% bid request fakesite123.com esquire.com passes blacklist passes whitelist ✅ ✅ declared 1. fakesite123.com has to pretend to be esquire.com to get bids; 2. fraud measurement shows high IVT b/c it is measuring the fake site with fake traffic 3. Fake esquire.com gets mixed with real so average fraud rates appear high. 4. Real esquire.com gets backlisted; bad guy moves on to another domain.
  29. 29. February 2021 / Page 28 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou (2017) Pop-Unders / Redirects These forms of fraud typically get by current fraud detection tech a.k.a. “zero-click” “pop-under” “forced-view” “auto-nav” Source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/remember-tom
  30. 30. February 2021 / Page 29 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou He said, she said “there’s 15% IVT, I want a refund” “no, it’s 1% IVT” My vendor is MRC-accredited My vendor is MRC-accredited, too!
  31. 31. February 2021 / Page 30 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou How Marketers Use Analytics to Reduce Fraud
  32. 32. February 2021 / Page 31 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Progressively clean campaigns Obvious fraud still gets through; analyze and turn off the fraud Launch Week 3 and beyond Week 2 Initial baseline measurement Measurement after first optimization After turning off more “sites that cheat” 30% bots 15% bots 3% bots Stacked percent chart Blue (human) Red (bots)
  33. 33. February 2021 / Page 32 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Domains and Apps to Remove Domains Apps worldstarhiphop.com es.socialpoint.DragonCity indianexpress.com es.socialpoint.MonsterLegends beachraider.com com.codigames.idle.tv.empire.tycoon yummytummyaarthi.com com.vip.hyperpusher petswelcome.com com.codigames.idle.prison.empire.manager .tycoon discoverlifestyle.com es.socialpoint.MonsterLegends mygcvisa.com scratch.lucky.money.free.real.big.win zeebiz.com com.pixel.art.coloring.color.number myleaderpaper.com com.mars.avgchapters thecinemaholic.com com.productmadness.cashmancasino segmentnext.com com.taggedapp
  34. 34. February 2021 / Page 33 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Check Location Targeting Geolocation patterns reveal data centers vs humans
  35. 35. February 2021 / Page 34 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou How Publishers Use Analytics to Show Low Fraud
  36. 36. February 2021 / Page 35 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Good publishers protect advertisers On-Site measurement, bots are still coming In-Ad measurement, bots and data centers filtered 11% red -9% (filtered GIVT and data centers) 2% red “Filter data center traffic and not call the ads”
  37. 37. February 2021 / Page 36 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Good publishers protect users 42 trackers 24.3s load time 8 trackers 1.3s load time “minimize 3rd party javascript trackers on pages”
  38. 38. February 2021 / Page 37 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Good publishers protect themselves Yellow: search crawlers Orange: declared bots Red: malicious bots
  39. 39. February 2021 / Page 38 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Where do visitors click? Click patterns on desktop and mobile screens, vs bots
  40. 40. February 2021 / Page 39 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou March 2021
  41. 41. February 2021 / Page 40 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou About the Author Augustine Fou, PhD. acfou [@] mktsci.com
  42. 42. February 2021 / Page 41 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Dr. Augustine Fou 2013 2014 2016 2015 2017 2019 2018 2020 2021
  43. 43. February 2021 / Page 42 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Harvard Business Review – October 2015 Excerpt: Hunting the Bots Fou, a prodigy who earned a Ph.D. from MIT at 23, belongs to the generation that witnessed the rise of digital marketers, having crafted his trade at American Express, one of the most successful American consumer brands, and at Omnicom, one of the largest global advertising agencies. Eventually stepping away from corporate life, Fou started his own practice, focusing on digital marketing fraud investigation. Fou’s experiment proved that fake traffic is unproductive traffic. The fake visitors inflated the traffic statistics but contributed nothing to conversions, which stayed steady even after the traffic plummeted (bottom chart). Fake traffic is generated by “bad-guy bots.” A bot is computer code that runs automated tasks.
  44. 44. February 2021 / Page 43 marketing.science consulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Dr. Augustine Fou 176 Articles for Forbes CMO Network https://www.forbes.com/sites/augustinefou 254 LinkedIn Articles on Ad Fraud and Digital Marketing https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/augustinefou 778 Slide Decks on Ad Fraud and Digital Marketing http://www.slideshare.net/augustinefou/presentations Taught digital marketing at New York University and Rutgers University Center for Management Development

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  • cwil

    Mar. 12, 2021
  • HobiePuzak

    Apr. 12, 2021

digital ad fraud is as rampant as ever; new ripples caused by privacy regulations are starting to affect the market. and more BS from trade associations pretending to be doing something

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