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Ad crooks: the ongoing problem in digital advertising

Ad crooks: the ongoing problem in digital advertising

Published 11 Oct 2018 by Mercia Lampen

Mercia Lampen, Digital Media Strategist, The MediaShop

Online advertising fraud is a huge problem globally in the digital industry, with cyber criminals stealing $3 - $5 million per day from advertisers. This issue was raised in 2004 by Google’s CFO, George Reyes as a major problem stating that fraud is the biggest threat to the internet economy. But what does the situation look like in South Africa?

Ad fraud is simply when a publisher, website, network, or influencer charges an advertiser for impressions, clicks, views, or leads that are not real. It can take many forms, including ad farms, pixel stuffing, botnets, ad stacking etc. All of these forms of ad fraud make advertisers pay for ads that are effectively worthless to them as they are never actually seen by a consumer.


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