Fraud lurks in shadows of changing digital advertising landscape warns a recent article in the Gulf News. It’s not new news, because there have always been criminals looking for ways to turn a dishonest profit in every money-making platform. It is a timely reminder, however, that honest advertisers must be vigilant about the quality of what they are buying. According to the article:
The uncomfortable truth about the $120 billion (Dh440.76 billion) digital advertising market is that the fastest-growing and most innovative part of the sector — open exchanges — is increasingly being exploited by criminals.
With concern among its clients mounting, WPP, the world’s biggest ad agency, last month said it would stop buying ad slots through such exchanges. These technology platforms, operated by Google, Facebook, AOL and Yahoo, allow marketers to place ads on hundreds of thousands of sites across the internet. But in doing so they have left the industry vulnerable to fraudsters.
Other ad agencies and marketing experts disagree with WPP’s choice to stop using ad exchanges, comparing it to refusing to surf the internet for fear of catching a virus. What does this mean to the average company owner who would like to take advantage of the promise that digital advertising offers but is wary of fraudulent clicks?
The answer is very similar to the way we use the internet: wisely and carefully. There will always be someone trying to game the system, and there will always be honest business people working to prevent abuse. Consistent monitoring referring links and other traffic is part of a professional strategy to win the fight against click fraud.
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