May 7, 2019

The battle against ad fraud can be won

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The battle against ad fraud is actually improving, according to the White Ops/Association of National Advertisers semi-annual Bot Baseline report. The study projects that ad fraud losses will reach $5.8 billion globally in 2019, down from $6.5 billion for 2017.

Why it matters: The report notes that the 11% decline in two years is particularly impressive considering that digital ad spending increased by 25.4% between 2017 and 2019.

  • For the first time, the majority of fraud attempts are getting stymied before they are paid for, the report notes. As a result, illegitimate traffic sourcing is declining and less sophisticated cybercriminals have abandoned their fraud schemes.
  • "Today, fraud attempts amount to 20 to 35 percent of all ad impressions throughout the year, but the fraud that gets through and gets paid for now is now much smaller," the report says.
  • The report credits industry initiatives, like the implementation of ads.txt, a program to authentic programmatic ad vendors, in helping to reduce fraud overall.
  • It also credits advertisers for spending more on channels with robust fraud protection measures.

The bottom line: "We are seeing our founding faith turn into validated fact: the battle against fraud is winnable," writes author Michael Tiffany, the co-founder and president of White Ops.

Go deeper: 125 Android apps caught up in million dollar ad fraud scheme

Go deeper

Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.