Industry understanding of ad fraud is confused and completely wrong, warns InMobi boss

The way the industry understands ad fraud is holding it back from a solution, InMobi’s Jayesh Easwaramony has warned.

Speaking at Mumbrella360 Asia conference about mobile ad fraud, the SVP & MD of Asia Pacific said that the industry was generally “confused” about the issue, but needed to be “determined” to fix it.

InMobi’s Jayesh Easwaramony: “Bucketing fraud into one generic term is wrong. People mix up the whole thing.”

He said: “Accountability is across four dimensions – the general understanding of ad fraud is completely wrong. First there is domain spoofing. That’s click spamming, click and install fraud etcetera. That’s because of click injection, wrong URLs and more.

“Then there is viewability – it’s a big problem for marketers, especially FMCG advertisers. There is also brand safety – is your brand shown against a porn site or an anti-government site? Finally there is attribution which is a very different ball game.”

Easwaramony said that the industry was getting confused and generally considered ad fraud to be a single issue, but that the only way to solve it was to break it down into the separate parts that make up ad fraud and attack them with different solutions.

“People who are doing ad fraud want to make money. It is an organised industry. Click farms, spoofing domains, creating malformed device IDs. It requires a lot of work and you need to be determined and stay on top of it,” he said. “Bucketing fraud into one generic term is wrong. People mix up the whole thing. There are many parts to ad fraud and ad blocking won’t solve this either.”

A Facebook and Google advertising network duopoly is also creating a false economy of understanding, Easwaramony suggested, with a third network force needed to help increase industry understanding of ad fraud and help actively combat the issue.

“Marketers don’t understand the medium,” he said. “Maybe they don’t have the time, maybe they get a singular view – Google or Facebook’s view. The more progress marketers make understanding mobile advertising, the better.

Alibaba could become an advertising network force, Easwaramony said

“I have gone to advertisers who are working with players in fraud who claim to be an ad network. And advertisers want to experiment, but why experiment so much? There is dominance with Facebook and Google, and there is then huge fragmentation after that. So advertiser education is the key.”

Easwaramony suggested that marketers had to ask more questions of networks, particularly around how they sourced users, but said he believed there was space for up to four major networks to join Google and Facebook.

“Amazon will be one of the emerging players to challenge Facebook and Google … There’s room for the enterprise players to do it, too. They can create that echo space to do it, whether it is Adobe or Oracle. That is possible. I do believe InMobi will be there. I think we have a good chance. There will also be two or three companies of our scale like Alibaba and Tencent.”


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