This week's review of ad fraud and quality in the digital advertising space.
1. Facebook cracks down on accidental clicks
Facebook has decided to not charge advertisers if a user clicks on an ad by accident. Both Advertising Age and MediaPost reported on the announcement featuring data from Pixalate. "In apps, display ads have a 5.8% accidental click rate, according to Pixalate data from July. Facebook's ad network is primarily used inside mobile apps," wrote Advertising Age.
"We applaud Facebook for taking this step in a bid to improve quality, trust, and transparency, but it's important to put this announcement in the context of the ad industry's overall fight against invalid traffic. This is certainly a step in the right direction, especially given Facebook's scale, but the industry must not get complacent," Jalal Nasir, CEO of Pixalate, said to MediaPost.
2. Google names sites with 'failing' ads
Digiday has reported that Google has named sites with "failing ads." Included in the list are Forbes and the LA Times. In Google's ongoing study, "pop-ups were the most common problem Google found, accounting for 96 percent of violations on desktop and 54 percent on mobile," wrote Digiday.
3. Why ad fraud shouldn't be brushed aside
In a guest post in Adweek, Zach Schapira of Impact Radius notes that the industry needs to stop downplaying the "importance of fighting fraud." The article contends that focusing only on performance misses the mark. "If only it were that easy," the article reads. "This line of reasoning misses the mark in two really important ways: First, it assumes that bots don’t perform, and second, it assumes that all fraud is bot traffic."
4. Can blockchain technology reduce ad fraud? Not so fast
An Adweek article explores how blockchain technolgoy is being applied to digital advertising, and examines whether or not the tech can be used to reduce ad fraud. "There are also major limitations, the primary one being that the speed of real-time bidding is too fast for blockchain technology to keep up with," wrote Adweek.
5. Adware dubbed 'Mughthesec' slips onto Apple Mac computers
"Mughthesec masquerades as an Adobe Flash installer which drops the malware onto the victim’s machine and asks permission to install other programs," wrote Threatpost.com, explaining the new variant on an old Mac adware strain. The adware is "spreading through malicious ads or popups," the article added. The malware "changes the victim’s browser homepage to an attacker-controlled domain," the article noted.
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