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

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 30,199,007 — Total deaths: 946,490— Total recoveries: 20,544, 967Map
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 6,675,593 — Total deaths: 197,644 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 90,710,730Map
  3. Politics: Former Pence aide says she plans to vote for Joe Biden, accusing Trump of costing lives in his coronavirus response.
  4. Health: Pew: 49% of Americans wouldn't get COVID-19 vaccine if available today Pandemic may cause cancer uptick The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine — COVID-19 racial disparities extend to health coverage losses.
  5. Business: Retail sales return to pre-coronavirus trend.
Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Mike Bloomberg's anti-chaos theory

CNN's Anderson Cooper questions Joe Biden last night at a drive-in town hall in Moosic, Pa., outside Scranton. Photo: CNN

Mike Bloomberg's $100 million Florida blitz begins today and will continue "wall to wall" in all 10 TV markets through Election Day, advisers tell me.

Why it matters: Bloomberg thinks that Joe Biden putting away Florida is the most feasible way to head off the national chaos we could have if the outcome of Trump v. Biden remained uncertain long after Election Day.

Biden's hardline Russia reset

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Getty Images photos: Mark Reinstein

When he talks about Russia, Joe Biden has sounded like Ronald Reagan all summer, setting up a potential Day 1 confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Biden were to win.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a forceful response against Russia for both election interference and alleged bounty payments to target American troops in Afghanistan. But being tougher than President Trump could be the easy part. The risk is overdoing it and making diplomacy impossible.