5 Charts That Demonstrate the Scope of Digital Ad Fraud

August 1, 2018

A roundup of charts from industry studies on the impact of digital ad fraud.

Kammi Altig, Communications Manager


With all the headlines about digital ad fraud and its impact on the industry, it’s hard to keep track of the latest statistics and determine how ad fraud is really impacting your segment of the world. We’ve rounded up five easy-to-read charts that synthesize digital ad fraud.


Digital Ad Fraud Shows No Signs of Slowing

In a recent SlideShare, Dr. Augustine Fou, independent ad fraud and cybersecurity researcher, shows that despite the use of ad fraud detection technologies, ad fraud continues to grow and thrive. It’s now at an all-time high in both rates and dollars.

Digital Ad Fraud is at All Time Highs (Dr. Augustine Fou)


Ad Fraud a Top Concern for Media Planners

According to a survey from Digital Place Based Association and highlighted by Marketingcharts.com, more than three quarters of the 336 agency planners surveyed listed ad fraud as a top concern, topping other issues like brand safety, data privacy and ad blocking.

Media Planners' Concerns With Online Advertising (DPAA)


How Digital Ad Fraud Impacts Local Markets

The previous chart shows the overall impact of digital ad fraud, but how is it really impacting local markets? This chart from Borrell Associates shows the top 10 local markets impacted by ad fraud. In New Haven, CT, ad fraud represents almost 10 percent of the digital ad spend. And in a metropolitan market like Washington D.C., that percentage translates to more than $257 million. Read more from Marketingcharts.com or download the report directly from Borrell Associates.

Ten Local U.S. Markets Hit Most by Digital Ad Fraud (Borrell)

And another study by BIA/Kelsey forecasts that ad spending in local media will reach $76 billion by 2021, making it attractive to fraudsters. Advertisers wishing to target local audiences and publishers with those local audiences should both be aware of the of the risks of ad fraud and how to protect against it. This chart shows the rate of ad fraud (dark red) in 16 DMAs with a geotargeted programmatic media buy.

Relative Ad Fraud Levels in 16 DMA Geotargeted Programmatic Media Buy (BIA/Kelsey)


What About Mobile?

A study by Forrester commissioned by AppsFlyer and summarized by Telemedia Online, states that mobile marketers anticipate “large portions of their ad budgets are exposed and/or lost to fraud.” It’s become such a large issue that 92 percent of advertisers and agencies said fraud prevention was a critical or high priority in the next 12 months.

Priority of Mobile Ad Fraud Prevention (Forrester)

Learn more about digital ad fraud and how to mitigate it in our white paper, “Three Truths That Help Confront the Digital Ad Fraud Crisis.”

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