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Ad fraud declined in 2015

News, 12 February 2016

NEW YORK: There are positive signs that the advertising industry's effort to tackle fraud are bearing fruit as new data reveals a marked decrease in fraud in video and display advertising during 2015.

The latest report from Integral Ad Science revealed a limited decline between the third and fourth quarters of last year but over the whole 12 months there was a significant improvement in the quality of the digital advertising market, particularly in one area of great concern.

Fraud rates for programmatic display inventory were down just over one percentage point in the fourth quarter, but over the year were down a third, from 16.5% to 11.0%, the largest change for any format.

For display inventory sourced directly through publishers – where fraud has been less of a concern – fraud rates moved only marginally in the last quarter, from 3.2% to 3.0%, but were still down a by a quarter on the start of the year when fraud was running at 4%.

The rate of decline of video fraud sat somewhere between these two. Again, there was only a slight change in the last quarter – from 10.1% to 10.0% – but this was substantially down on the first quarter figure of 14.0%.

The steady decrease throughout the year indicated an increased effort across the industry to implement fraud prevention technology and to bring the amount transacted on to what Integral Ad Science described as "a more manageable level".

"We continue to develop cutting edge solutions for both buyers and sellers to ensure that our clients are protected against fraud," said Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral Ad Science.

"The steady decrease in fraud transacted upon in 2015 is a clear indication that the industry is embracing sophisticated prevention technology and working together to gain the upper hand in the war on fraud."

There was also positive movement in display viewability over the last quarter. Display inventory sourced directly from publishers saw the greatest improvement, increasing from 46.3% in Q3 to 53.7% in Q4.

Viewability sourced through networks and exchanges increased from 39.8% to 41.5 %.

Data sourced from Integral Ad Science; additional content by Warc staff