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How To Approach CTV Fraud As An Advertiser Today

This post is a part of our “Comprehensive Guide To Connected TV Advertising” — Click here to learn more!

The way society interacts with and consumes entertainment today is fundamentally changing at an unprecedented rate. Recent market data shows that US households are ditching traditional cable and satellite subscriptions in droves and moving towards newer inexpensive alternatives, such as Netflix, Hulu, SlingTV, ATTNow, Fubo, Pluto, and other streaming-based services. 

This shift is so profound that recent statistics show the adoption of these newer entertainment platforms have resulted in traditional TV losing 7.6 subscribers per minute in 2019.

Media buyers who typically use television as the go-to platform to purchase advertisement placements are scratching their heads trying to understand where to turn now that the reach of television is shrinking. And this shrinking user base isn’t the only cause for concern. A recent study found that 76% of respondents reported skipping traditional tv ads with DVR services. So while companies scramble to find new effective ways to promote their products, new advertising avenues and strategies are beginning to step up to meet this growing demand. 

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This evolution in the advertising space has led to new advertising vocabulary and strategies that the traditional media buyer are less familiar with. You have seen concepts like OTT (Over-The-Top) advertising and CTV/Connected TV advertising take the lead in modern advertising publications, but not sure how they might fit into your comprehensive advertising strategy. You’re not alone here. 

Further, the case for advertising through streaming platforms is becoming evident now more than ever, as we see streaming statistics skyrocket. 

Nielson has found that more users are streaming now in the wake of covid-19 than ever before. Roughly 60% more. 

Now, as with every new technology, you must apply caution when adopting new practices for your business. You may have seen articles circulating the advertising space about CTV ad fraud. For example, just recently, a sophisticated bot network scheme impersonated over 1.9 billion ad requests through CTV platforms. Scammer networks looking to exploit technology isn’t anything new and sadly it isn’t going away.

However, that doesn’t mean that these modern advertising strategies aren’t viable and safe if incorporated and executed correctly. In the wake of these CTV fraud exploits, we’re seeing CTV platforms take swift action to combat these risks by implementing new technologies to safeguard against these types of threats. 

How To Put Your Best Foot Forward To Avoid CTV Fraud as a Modern Advertiser

While scammers are constantly looking for new opportunities to exploit companies. CTV platforms are quickly identifying these strategies and taking swift action to combat these vulnerabilities. So, to ensure that you are properly protected against these exploits, it’s important to first understand the different way people are abusing these platforms.

Types of CTV Ad Fraud That Are Possible:

Impersonator Bots 

This is one of the more common CTV fraud strategies that we see today. An impersonator bot or “Ad Fraud Bot” impersonates a unique user interacting with an ad. The intent of these impersonator bots is to falsify thousands of ad interactions and drive revenue to an unscrupulous host of that given ad.

App Fraud 

App fraud again much like impersonator bots fraud create fraudulent requests through a given app that a user would have installed on their device. This app may pose to provide different functionality but unknowingly to the user, it is making ad requests to increase the revenue of the given advertisement host. 

Device Fraud 

Device fraud is very similar to impersonator bots and app fraud, except in this case scammers install malicious software onto a given device rather than conduct CTV fraud through an app. The mechanism of getting access to this device varies, but once scammers have access to this given device, they can use it to instruct phony interaction with targeted advertisements.

How To Stay Protected against CTV fraud

Fortunately, CTV platforms and third party companies are making great strides in protecting media buyers and companies from CTV fraud. Remember, this might seem like a new risk, but scammers and hackers have been looking to exploit new technology since the dawn of the computer. What’s important to understand, is that there are dependable strategies in place to protect companies. It simply comes down to applying tried-and-true methodologies to a new emerging advertising platform.

Location Verification 

A very common dependable method of protecting against scammers creating fraudulent ad interaction is simply monitoring the location of ad interactions. Trusted partners can provide keen insight metrics on where and how viewers are interacting with your ads. These monitoring capabilities can quickly point out suspicious behavior. Find more information here about monitoring and device level reporting.

Third Party Tracking And Ad Verification Systems 

Third party services are also addressing the need for reliability within the CTV advertising space by providing ad performance and verification capabilities. Ad performance tracking helps media buyers improve the effectiveness of their advertisement campaigns by ensuring that the ads are displayed as contracted with the selected publisher. Here you can be certain that your ads aren’t inadvertently hosted through unscrupulous publishers fraudulently impersonating ad interactions. 

DoubleVerify is another dedicated third party service that is dedicated to protecting CTV advertisers against fraud. The combination of performance tracking to look for unjustified/unexplainable spikes in performance and ad verification should allow you to catch any dubious traffic/impressions before too much budget is spent on it.

DeviceAtlas is one of the best out there for another layer of control and visibility for ad delivery, performance, and targeting. Their suite of ad tech also includes a bot detection platform to ensure your ads are going to eyeballs and not processors. 

White Ops is the global leader in bot mitigation, bot prevention and ad fraud avoidance. Their claim to fame is that they are verifying over 5 trillion online interactions… EVERY WEEK! Not bad! We love their motto, “Keep it human.”


Choose Your Trusted Partner/Provider Wisely

As you begin to outline your OTT and CTV advertising strategy, ensure that you are working with a trusted CTV advertisement provider who can align with you on your advertising goals. Spending the time to find reputable providers will make all the difference. 

Here at Strategus, we’re confident that we have the seasoned industry insight and CTV advertising expertise to help incorporate OTT and CTV advertising into your modernized advertising strategy. We can proudly say that we are the very first firm to programmatically place video ads into OTT and CTV content. We’ve seen the industry take shape and understand how to effectively utilize OTT and CTV advertising for our clients. To learn more, check out our wide variety of services that we provide for our clients.

Ensuring Protection

At the end of the day, either you or your trusted partner needs to be monitoring ad delivery 24/7. CTV advertising is still new and things can happen. Rather than put your advertising budget and reputation at risk, enroll a trusted provider to monitor your CTV advertising campaign. It’s the added safeguard that will allow you to safely and effectively adopt these modernized advertising practices. If you’d like to learn more about how we’re supporting our clients, check out our case studies here.

Next Steps

We understand that digital ad fraud is a worry in today’s evolving advertising landscape.

Talk To A Strategus OTT Expert

We believe that OTT and CTV advertising shouldn’t necessarily be the cause for this concern, rather it is the unsafe practices associated with OTT and CTV advertising that are the growing cause for concern. We want to act as your trusted advisor to help you navigate this new advertising space. Working with an experienced industry leader can help you not only stay competitive for your clients, but also support the satisfaction and long term commitment of your clients.

If you’d like to learn more about the dedicated tailored services that we can provide, contact us today. We’d love to speak with you about your advertising goals and outline trusted, data-driven solutions to help you get there.

Andy Dixon is a seasoned Content Writing Specialist at Strategus, renowned for his expertise in creating engaging and impactful digital content. With over a decade of experience in content creation, Andy has honed his skills in a variety of niches, ranging from technology and marketing to education.

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