Digital Ad Fraud Set to Hit $68bn in 2022

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Digital advertising spend lost to fraud could reach as high as $68bn globally in 2022, with the US most affected, according to the latest study from Juniper Research.

The UK-based market analyst’s latest report claimed the figure would surge by over 15% year-on-year, up from $59bn in 2021.

The top five countries most impacted by digital ad fraud globally account for around 60% of losses, it said.

The US is out in front, followed by Japan, China, South Korea and the UK.

The Juniper Research study, Digital Advertising Fraud: Key Trends, Competitor Landscape & Market Forecasts 2022-2026, found that companies advertising in the US could lose as much as $23bn to fraud in 2022. 

This reflects the size of the US market, the world’s largest for digital advertising spend, which has high levels of internet use across mobile apps and browsers. This offers strong opportunities for companies to advertise their wares.

“With the US representing such a significant market in terms of advertising spend, campaigns in North America will undoubtedly attract the attention of fraudulent players,” explained research author Scarlett Woodford. “This will lead to unprecedented innovation in fraud tactics within the US, with advertisers demonstrating a greater requirement for fraud detection and mitigation services.”

The report urged digital advertisers to form strategic partnerships with ad fraud detection and prevention vendors capable of spotting fake traffic that provides no return on ad spend.

Juniper claimed the most effective tools use machine learning to establish baseline metrics for legitimate traffic and then flag when they spot patterns that diverge from the norm.

Fraudsters use a variety of tactics to generate illicit profits from advertising.

Some use malware hidden in legitimate-looking apps, which generate clicks on digital ads without the user’s knowledge. Others deploy automated bots to drive fake clicks, while some use malware to insert unauthorized ads onto publishers’ websites to trick users into clicking.

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