Why in-app ad fraud should keep marketers awake at night

In-app advertising fraud should be a source of major concern for marketers, both from an expenditure and brand safety perspective.

Earlier this year, PubMatic, a sell-side platform (SSP) that helps online publishers sell display, video and mobile ads in an automated fashion, issued a “massive refund” to its clients.

The reason behind the San Francisco-based company – an expert in the programmatic space – reimbursing its customers was a highly sophisticated case of advertising fraud. More specifically, software security firm Lookout had discovered the presence of BeiTaAd, a “well-obfuscated advertising plugin”, hidden within numerous mobile apps where PubMatic offered ads.

In a clue regarding its scale, BeiTaAd was found on 238 apps – collectively installed 440 million times – that...

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