AppLift and Smaato Talk Mobile Ad Fraud at DMEXCO 2015

Last week we attended Europe’s largest digital trade show, dmexco, which takes place every year in Cologne’s Congress Center. The event was a blast: we met with many existing partners, talked to a lot of interesting new people, and held our own booth party on the first day. The party even included smoky cocktails!

Beyond business and pleasure, dmexco was also the occasion to take up a serious topic within the mobile advertising industry: fraud. We took the opportunity to host a Work Lab together with mobile publisher platform Smaato to inform and discuss this issue. Fraud is estimated to cost digital advertisers $11 billion per year, and that figure for mobile specifically is said to be as high as $1 billion.

Our CEO Tim Koschella took the stage together with Smaato’s CEO Ragnar Kruse to offer their views and solutions on an issue plaguing the whole ecosystem.

Mobile Ad Fraud Dmexco

The presentation was broken down into the following sections:

  • Most common mobile ad fraud tactics
  • How to improve the traffic quality
  • How to improve the ad quality
  • General tips to prevent mobile ad fraud

The main take-aways from the session are:

  • Fraud is a very serious topic, and advertisers are losing a lot of money to it every year.
  • You need a combination of human interaction and technology to fight fraud most efficiently. Either of them alone will never be enough.
  • Some fraudsters are hiding in countries where it’s hard to prosecute them. There is a high need for an industry-wide blacklist of fraudulent publishers, which exists for desktop video but not yet on mobile.
  • The development of programmatic advertising on mobile should improve the fight against fraud, as it enables ad tech suppliers to detect fraud before the impression is actually bid on, thereby turning detection into prevention.
  • Ad tech providers, both on the demand and on the supply side, need to work together if they want to be effective against fraud.

What is your experience of fraud? What are you doing to fight it? Let us know in the comments!