The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has issued its first guidelines to help marketers reduce their exposure non-human traffic, with ad fraud predicted to exceed $50bn globally by 2025 – second only to the drugs trade as a source of income for organised crime.
The advice, aimed to assist marketers in taking practical steps to avoid losing budget to fraud, was compiled in conjunction with collaborative research and advocacy initiative the Advertising Fraud Council and research foundation Botlab.io.
“Advertisers are the sole victim of ad fraud and the WFA wants to equip them with the tools to minimise their exposure,” said WFA chief executive officer Stephan Loerke.
“There is much that advertisers can do to improve the situation in terms of setting new standards, contractual changes and increased transparency, but ultimately behaviour change is required across the industry.”
WFA’s ‘Compendium of Ad Fraud Knowledge for Media Investors’, which aims to act as an instruction manual for the required change internally and externally, warns that there is no way to eliminate ad fraud and, even with all the recommended measures in place, an advertiser could still suffer from “single digit percentile exposure”.
Advertisers are recommended to develop in-house expertise to support vendor choices, working with cyber security partners to better understand the situation, whilst demanding full transparency of investment and full disclosure of all websites being used to promote their products or services.
Other suggestions are to set metrics and expectations for what brands want from partners, encourage open information sharing, avoid run of exchange buys and outline clear penalties for agencies and vendor parties that misallocate spend to fraud related inventory.