A survey of 150 media buyers by multiscreen advertising provider Mixpo has found that an estimated 22% of ad impression buys in video ads believed to be are fraudulent, with estimated 32% of them not viewable.
The company said that it’s important for advertisers and agencies to know whether their video ads are viewable and whether it was actual people who generated the view versus bots. Media buyers know that this level of fraud is happening and that it’s an important part of their business. About 89% of those surveyed said that said measuring viewability of ads is a critical requirement and 83% ranked measuring fraud as a critical requirement.
According to Emily Carrion, director of communications at Mixpo, the best fraudsters are now in video because of the high CPMs. The online video ad industry has become increasingly more aware of fraud in the last few months. Whereas most of the fraud was coming from email campaigns or online display ads, it has now mostly moved to video advertising, she said.
Fraudulent video ads essentially mean that ads are not viewed by humans, but rather by bots set up to create fake impressions. The other kind of fraud is viewability which means ads are appearing below the fold of the page, or otherwise not appearing correctly.
One example of ads not being watched by actual humans is if skippable video ads are not skipped. Despite the awareness about video ad fraud, the study found that most agencies are still growing out their capacity to detect fraud and proper viewability. Only 26% of those surveyed said they already have reasonably effective tools in place to detect fraud, while 45% said that they still need to grow their ability to do so.
Carrion said that Mixpo can assist agencies and ad buyers with quality assessment. Its VideoVerify tool allows buyers to optimize campaigns based on inventory quality and substantiates fraud and viewability. VideoVerify also provides a live “heat map” to show where a video ad appeared on the page and the percentage of time it appeared there. It confirms video ad views by DMA and demographic, in order to find out if advertisers really reached the demographic intended, or whether the viewership was unexpectedly skewed.