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Ad fraud’s significant increase is being driven by Generative AI

This analysis draws on more than one trillion video and display impressions delivered across APAC, EMEA, LATAM, and North America, from January to December 2023, including desktop, mobile web, mobile app, and connected TV (CTV). The study also incorporates a global survey conducted by Sapio, polling 1,000 advertisers across these regions.

Photo by Muha Ajjan from Unsplash.com

DoubleVerify, a software platform for digital media measurement, data, and analytics, released its DV Global Insights: 2024 Trends Report and, for the first time, an accompanying DV Global Insights: 2024 APAC Report.

This analysis draws on more than one trillion video and display impressions delivered across APAC, EMEA, LATAM, and North America, from January to December 2023, including desktop, mobile web, mobile app, and connected TV (CTV). The study also incorporates a global survey conducted by Sapio, polling 1,000 advertisers across these regions.

Key findings include:

  • Generative Artificial Intelligence (Generative AI) is driving a significant increase in new ad fraud schemes and variants at the global level. In 2023, DV’s research revealed a 23% surge in new fraud schemes and variants compared to the previous year while unprotected advertisers globally saw a fraud/SIVT violation rate as high as 17%. CTV had the highest fraud rate of all devices in APAC and 37% of fraud/SIVT (Sophisticated Invalid Traffic) in APAC occurred on mobile apps, with 92% of all adware/malware SIVT in APAC driven by mobile apps. 
  • Brand suitability violations, while broadly trending down in APAC (6.4%), increased by 14% in Southeast Asia. This was primarily due to a tumultuous year filled with unprecedented news cycles in countries like the Philippines. However, the report cited a decrease (17%) in brand safety and suitability violations globally for DV advertisers as a result of a 41% year-over-year increase in the utilization of custom brand safety and suitability pre-bid protections. 
  • 54% of APAC media buyers said an increase in low-quality content and Made-For-Advertising (MFA) sites is a disruptive threat to the digital ecosystem. MFAs usually appear high-performing when looking at specific isolated KPIs, such as clicks and viewability, that they are designed to boost. Despite this, DV found that MFA sites deliver 7% less overall attention on display ads and 28% less on video than other media. “High-tier” MFAs, sites that exhibit the most extreme MFA criteria, were 25% below the attention baseline. Advances in Generative AI will likely make MFA sites more sophisticated, posing new challenges for advertisers striving to maintain brand integrity; MFA impression volumes are already up by 19% year-over-year globally coinciding with recent AI advances. 

The report also delves into critical industry topics, including the expansive role of AI in transforming media and advertising risks and opportunities, the rapid increase in MFA content, the rise of Retail Media Networks (RMNs) with specialized inventory, and how responsible media buying contributes to reducing carbon emissions. 

Some additional findings from the report in this backdrop were:

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  • 60% of APAC marketers said AI-driven campaign optimization positively impacts media quality.
  • RMNs over-index for media quality in terms of brand suitability and ad fraud, with fraud rates nearly one-third (31%) lower than the DV overall fraud benchmark.
  • RMNs also see 10% lower brand suitability violations than DV’s overall brand suitability benchmark.
  • Despite lower viewability on retail sites and apps, broader attention metrics reveal a more substantial impact on engagement. 
  • 58% of APAC marketers plan to rely on attention-based metrics for most of their buys in 2024. DV’s own attention solution, DV Authentic Attention®, tripled in adoption over the past year. 

For the full DV Global Insights report series, visit https://doubleverify.com/global-insights-2024-trends-report.

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