ironSource launches programme to target mobile advertising fraud – credits back if fraud is detected

Advertising fraud is becoming a growing problem as part of an even faster growing industry. According to research by BI Intelligence, $16.4 billion were wasted in 2017 on fraudulent traffic and bots.

Now, ironSource, the mobile monetisation and marketing firm, has launched an Active Protect programme to help mobile advertisers ward off frequently used types of ad fraud across non-SDK traffic such as attribution and device manipulation. The programme has been designed to block fraudulent or manipulated traffic in real-time and re-credits advertisers for any spending that has been wasted on fraudulent traffic.

Omer Kaplan, CMO and Co-founder at ironSource, explains that fraud is a problem that concerns the entire industry. However, many advertising networks are pushing the burden off toward external companies.

“Many of our advertisers are looking for high scale, but in order to achieve it they have to deal with a higher degree of risk. Our goal is to simplify and secure that process for them, so that they can run campaigns without worrying about checking for fraud or waste time appealing to a network to have their spend refunded.”

In addition, attribution manipulation also increased. Indeed, the discrepancy between view-through and click-through attribution has created an uneven playing field whereby many publishers working on a click-only basis have created smart manipulation strategies that open attribution windows for each user who sees an ad. That includes misleading ads, click stuff and ad stacking.

“The varied types of attribution manipulation all serve to obscure the clear delineation between organic and paid installs, making it incredibly difficult for advertisers to measure campaign efficiency and ROI. By addressing this issue as it happens in real-time, Active Protect is designed to create a safer space for advertisers in the current ecosystem,” Kaplan says.

The new programme tries to ensure advertisers that they won’t pay for suspicious traffic. It also simplifies the complicated dispute process of advertisers being forced to check data that indicates potential fraud with media partners and proves fraud was committed source by source to recover spending.

Active Protect automatically re-credits advertisers if an install is deemed fraudulent. Kaplan adds:

“Even though 75% of our traffic today is SDK-based, we feel it’s our duty to ensure our advertisers are able to safely buy across any channel out there. We believe this is a service which should be part and parcel of the offering of any ad network that is serious about having a relationship of transparency and trust with their advertiser partners, and we’re committed to taking a leading role in fraud prevention so that our advertisers are able to drive sustainable and measurable user growth.”

For marketers wishing to join the programme, they will need to adopt the Active Protect threshold. These will be regularly reviewed to ensure the programme is keeping up with a quickly evolving industry.

The programme creates monthly automated reports for members to show installs which fell outside of the threshold.