Combatting Online Ad Fraud: Strategies for Marketers

A cornerstone of marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes is online advertising. However, alongside the growth of online advertising, a sinister counterpart has emerged: ad fraud. Ad fraud refers to deceptive and often malicious activities that aim to generate revenue through false ad impressions, clicks, or conversions. It poses a significant threat to marketers, causing a waste of advertising budgets and undermining the effectiveness of campaigns. Fortunately, there are proactive measures marketers can take to minimize the impact of ad fraud and protect their investments.

Ad fraud will cost marketers $84 billion this year – 22% of all online ad spend.

According to a new in-depth study from Juniper Research, this figure is expected to soar to $170 billion in five years in 2028.

Juniper’s study analyzed digital advertising in 45 countries across eight regions, using a dataset of over 78,700 data points from 2019 to 2028. The research found that:

  • 22% of all online ad spending is lost due to ad fraud in 2023.
  • 30% of mobile ad spend is lost to ad fraud in 2023.
  • $172 Billion of ad spend is projected to be lost due to ad fraud by 2028.
  • $23 Billion per year can be recovered by using fraud mitigation platforms.

So, how can marketers combat ad fraud?

1. Choose Trusted Platforms and Partners:

Selecting reputable advertising platforms and partners is crucial in combating ad fraud. Work with established ad networks, publishers, and technology providers with solid track records for transparency and accountability. Conduct thorough research and due diligence before committing to any partnerships.

2. Implement Fraud Detection Tools:

Utilize advanced fraud detection tools and technologies to monitor ad campaigns in real time. These tools employ machine learning algorithms and data analysis techniques to identify suspicious patterns and anomalies indicative of fraudulent activity. By detecting fraud early, marketers can immediately mitigate its impact.

3. Monitor Traffic Quality:

Monitor the quality of traffic coming to your ads regularly. Look for signs of abnormal behavior, such as high bounce rates, low engagement, or sudden spikes in traffic from unfamiliar sources. Implement measures to filter out non-human traffic (bots) and ensure your ads reach genuine audiences.

4. Employ Verification Services:

Consider using third-party verification services that specialize in ad fraud detection and prevention. These services offer independent auditing and validation of ad impressions, clicks, and conversions, providing marketers with an extra layer of security and peace of mind.

5. Adopt Transparency and Accountability:

Demand transparency from your advertising partners regarding their traffic sources, pricing models, and performance metrics. Establish clear agreements and protocols for reporting and resolving instances of ad fraud. Hold partners accountable for delivering genuine, high-quality traffic and results.

6. Stay Informed and Adaptive:

Stay abreast of the latest developments and trends in online ad fraud. The landscape of ad fraud is constantly evolving, with fraudsters devising new tactics to circumvent detection measures. By staying informed and adaptive, marketers can proactively adjust their strategies and defenses to stay one step ahead of fraudsters.

7. Collaborate with Industry Initiatives:

Participate in industry-wide initiatives and collaborations to combat ad fraud. Organizations such as the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) offer resources, guidelines, and best practices for addressing ad fraud collectively as an industry.


Ad fraud presents a significant challenge for marketers, threatening the integrity and effectiveness of online advertising campaigns. However, by implementing proactive strategies and leveraging the right tools and partnerships, marketers can minimize the risk of ad fraud and protect their investments. Through vigilance, transparency, and collaboration, we can create a safer and more trustworthy digital advertising ecosystem for businesses and consumers.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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