iProspect APAC boss: ‘industry needs to do more on bots’

Ruth Stubbs 1The head of, Dentsu Aegis’s search and SEM arm, iProspect Ruth Stubbs has warned the advertising industry that it needs to do more to better understand the challenge facing clients in regards to bots and so-called fake traffic.

In an interview, with Mumbrella, Stubbs responded to a question about whether there was enough focus on the issue by saying: “No, I think as an industry we need to be doing more to understand the challenges our clients are facing.”

“It is a highly complex issue fraught with difficulties. It seems that only when a client is particularly impacted by fraud does anyone take an interest, and then, it’s ring fenced so as not to scare the other clients.”

Her comments come just months after The Wall Street Journal reported online advertising was facing a crisis with up to a third of online traffic driven by bots.

Bot traffic cheats clients because most marketers pay for ads whenever they are loaded in response to the number of people visiting web pages and it is often difficult to differentiate bots from real people as the technology being used becomes increasingly sophisticated.

The head of iProspect’s offices across the Asia-Pacific warned that some markets in the region were not doing enough to limited the risk.

“Most agencies want to just factor it into the cost of doing business – an internet tax, if you will – rather than tackle it proactively,” said Stubbs.

“We still have some markets with publishers who don’t allow third party ad servers, and Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) that won’t allow viewability/fraud detection tags to be deployed, so we have to approach each market considering its own particular circumstances.”

“Clients should be asking their agencies – what processes/technologies do you have to mitigate advertising fraud? How do you work with publishers when suspect activity is detected?”

Stubbs told Mumbrella that the issue would be a focus for iProspect in the future.

“This is going to be a such key focus for us moving forward, earlier this year we launched our regional data validation consultancy which is experiencing huge interest from our clients.”

Nic Christensen 

Read the full Q&A with Stubbs here.


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