Ad Fraud on the Rise in APAC Says New IAS Media Quality Report

Most markets in the region saw an increase in ad fraud across desktop displays, with Singapore having the highest annual increase of 1.9 percentage points year-on-year.
Image: Limon Das

Integral Ad Science has released the seventeenth edition of the Media Quality Report for H1 2022, providing transparency into the performance and quality of digital media in the Asia Pacific region, alongside global comparisons. This report explores how media quality has evolved over the past six months and how marketers can use these shifts to maximize future campaign performance.

According to the latest findings, ad fraud rate was on the rise in the first half of 2022 with fraud rates rising 10 times faster for campaigns without anti-fraud protection.

Invalid traffic (IVT) activity increased almost universally. APAC was no exception; most markets in the region saw an increase in ad fraud across desktop display, with Singapore having the highest annual increase of 1.9 percentage points year-on-year (YoY) and overall ad fraud rate at 4.9% in H1 2022. Japan and Vietnam followed with respective ad fraud rates of 3.3% (an increase of 0.7 percentage points YoY) and 3.1% (an increase of 1.6 percentage points YoY).

 
 

Desktop display ad fraud rates also increased YoY in Australia (1.6%) and New Zealand (0.7%), but dropped slightly in India (0.8%). Globally advertisers saw an average optimized-against-ad fraud rate of 1.4% for desktop display; the non-optimized ad fraud rates reached 13.2%.

“Brand risk rates remained on a downward trajectory as the adoption of context-based strategies continues to evolve. Indonesia saw one of the steepest brand risk reductions, down 3.7 percentage points on desktop display and 3.3 percentage points on mobile web display. “

According to IAS, mobile web display environments remained safer in APAC than desktop display; even though there was an uptick in optimized ad fraud rates in a few markets, most of them remained lower than 1%. Singapore saw optimized fraud rates of 0.9%, Vietnam 0.5% and Indonesia 0.4%. India and New Zealand reported 0.2% mobile display ad fraud rates, which did not change YoY.
On the other hand, on mobile web display ad fraud rates, Australia saw a marginal decline of 0.2 percentage points YoY to reach 0.4%. Japan saw a decline of 0.6 percentage points YoY to reach 1.7%.

 
 

Programmatic buys across mobile display impressions in Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, and Vietnam had higher ad fraud rates than direct publisher buys.

Mobile campaigns using IAS technology saw decreased ad fraud rates in the region. Non-optimized ad fraud activity (affecting unprotected campaigns) increased at 10 times the pace of the jump observed for those running with protection (optimized). Globally, mobile campaigns running without anti-fraud protection encountered up to 16 times the amount of ad fraud as optimized-against-fraud rates, said IAS.

Ad fraud follows ad dollars and higher CPMs. With the upcoming holiday buying season, advertisers must monitor and block fraudulent impressions and apply pre-bid solutions to offer additional protection against ad fraud when programmatically transacting ads.

Key takeaways

Integral Ad Science provided the following insights from the study.

Markets in APAC led the charge in brand risk reduction globally, aided by context-based strategies

Brand risk rates remained on a downward trajectory as the adoption of context-based strategies continues to evolve. Indonesia saw one of the steepest brand risk reductions, down 3.7 percentage points on desktop display and 3.3 percentage points on mobile web display. Despite a slight annual increase, Vietnam had one of the lowest brand risk levels globally on mobile web display (0.8%). Brand risk levels on mobile web display across APAC markets remained lower than the worldwide average of 2.3%.

“Advertisers must have robust pre-bid and post-bid strategies and deploy verification solutions to ensure that direct and programmatically traded impressions are protected and optimized to provide maximum impact and ROI.”

Across the world, the brand risk for display ad buys was often driven by the violence category; the same trend followed in Australia, Indonesia and Singapore. Still, illegal downloads represented the largest portion of brand risk for Vietnam, while for India, the primary threat was offensive language. This highlights the importance of advertisers frequently revisiting brand suitability and safety strategies and having an always-on approach for their campaigns.

Desktop display viewability rates saw an uptick in almost all APAC markets

Barring Japan, all APAC markets saw an uptick in viewability in display environments, with Australia registering the highest viewability level at 74.6% an increase of 2.9 percentage points YoY. Japan reported the lowest desktop display viewability at 48.4% compared to the global average of 71.5%. The other APAC markets reported more than 60% viewability rates.

Australia, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam surpassed 65% viewability in mobile app display.

Viewability on mobile app environments has also benefited from increased adoption of the IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement SDK and third-party access to measurement data. Regional brands understand that viewability is a prerequisite to attention, and viewability rates should be high before tackling attention.

“It’s encouraging to see improved digital media quality performance from emerging markets in the APAC region. Publishers are reviewing their inventory, re-designing their sites to deliver greater attention and viewability for clients, and implementing critical strategies to avoid risk and reduce fraud,” said Laura Quigley, SVP APAC at IAS.

“Fraud is on the rise, and regional advertisers need to make sure we do not just monitor but also block fraud. The non-mitigated fraud rates could be 10 times higher than fraud rates where mitigation tactics are used. Advertisers must have robust pre-bid and post-bid strategies and deploy verification solutions to ensure that direct and programmatically traded impressions are protected and optimized to provide maximum impact and ROI.”

Contextual targeting will become the go-to strategy for privacy-compliant targeting.

With barriers like GDPR and the impending deprecation of cookies, marketers are on a mission to connect with their audiences without invading their privacy. Contextual targeting is a privacy-friendly and effective method for advertisers to reach the right audience at the right time to drive outcomes. IAS classifies content with the greatest granularity at scale.


Download the full report here.

The Staff

The Staff

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