CTV Ad Performance and Fraud: Ad Fraud Types and Prevention
Mins Read
June 17, 2022

The CTV platform is not only an opportunity given to advertisers, but also various fraudsters. Since this field is relatively new and has invaded many houses globally, it’s not surprising that there are not enough fraud protection softwares, measurement strategies, and regulated policies that can protect advertisers.

In this article, we’ll dive more into why advertising fraud happens, ad fraud types, and methods to prevent it.

Understand Advertising Fraud

As CTV ad interest continues to soar, fraudsters generate several schemes to capture the advertiser’s ad spend. In an article released by BusinessInsider, advertising fraud had cost brands around $44 billion by 2022 and surged up to 45% of the total spent. CTV fraud was estimated at $144 million of that spend. This is certainly not a piece of good news because it dramatically affects the perceived CTV ad performance.

Since the CTV area revolves around several entities such as OTT content sources, CTV device manufacturers, ad verification platforms, etc., it’s not easy to trace and scale CTV ad campaigns. As a result, a lot of advertising fraud has already   behind the scenes. To top it all up, as mentioned, it lacks stricter policies globally, luring the fraudsters to continue such activities.

Viewability has a play on CTV ad fraud, as much of the fraud occurs when a viewer is not actually engaging with the ads.

Ad Fraud Types

Upon discovering how these fraudulent activities work, it’s necessary to be informed of various ways they exploit the CTV platform.

• SDK Spoofing – SDK spoofing is a type of advertising fraud that imitates downloads using data from real devices. Fraudsters utilize complex methods to exploit the advertiser’s budget. Sometimes, this may be an app installed on a device with a different function but already generating ad requests to an advertisement host.

• Device/SSAI Spoofing – Device spoofing is another type of advertising fraud that utilizes one device to mimic several devices and perform ad impressions; such activity disguises the fraudster as an audience and steals the ad spend naturally.

• IP Spoofing – IP spoofing is the most common type of advertising fraud utilized; by posing as an IP address, they were able to create multiple false impressions and fake traffics that led to a lot of stolen ad money.

• Background Activity – This form of ad fraud activity occurs when a CTV is set to run in the background, even after a viewer has turned their device off, driving the number of impressions up inaccurately.

An example of CTV ad fraud that you might be familiar with is the ad fraud operation ICEBUCKET, which targeted sellers who didn’t have sellers.json files (which dictate which sellers are legit). The scam used bots to simulate video viewers via IP spoofing. The

Prevention for CTV Ad Fraud

Nobody wants to be targeted by these advertising frauds; even if there might be various ad fraud types, there are still methods to combat them:

• Work with A Trusted Provider – this may be one of the most crucial methods to combat CTV ad fraud because this will be the very foundation of your advertising goals. Make sure that the trusted provider can track all of your CTV ad performance consistently. They should also be utilizing relevant regulations released by the interactive advertising bureau (IAB).

• Team up with Other Advertisers – to make the CTV platform a safe space for everyone, it is vital to team up with other advertisers, known as the collective protection approach. This lets the organization collaborate to provide their fraudulent scenarios encountered and provide solutions that will protect anyone that experiences the same situation.

• Try New Formats – Most CTV ads have a limit of how many ads can server during a certain duration. New formats of ads like On-Stream can expand on that aspect by utilizing overlays on top of and surrounding the CTV stream.

Final Thoughts

Fraudsters will continue to invade anything they can get their hands on; that is why CTV platforms should also continue to fight back. With publishers and advertisers united, the industry stands a better chance at detecting and intercepting ad fraud.

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