Combatting app fraud is everyone’s fight

07/27/15

An article last week in the Wall Street Journal discussed the recent app fraud study by Forensiq, which pointed to the problem of app ad fraud. This is the second major study of app fraud this month, after own study on click and IAP fraud was published earlier in July.

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One of the really compelling things that Forensiq did was prepare a video that showed app ad fraud in action, where the app code was mimicking the display of more than 700 banner ads per hour – ads that were not actually visible to the consumer, and yet were paid for by the advertiser. Have a look at this great piece of multimedia below.

Today, Marketing Dive reported that Google has taken steps to help reduce fraud by removing apps from the Play store that were demonstrated to be perpetrating fraud. This is a great development. But combatting fraud is not just Google’s or Apple’s responsibility. It’s all of our responsibilities.

App fraud in all of its various forms is a fight we all truly need to be part of. For brands, it represents outright robbery. Theft of advertising dollars. Similarly vendors must ensure that they are doing everything in their power to not be accessories to these crimes.

App fraud hurts the industry in indirect ways as well – by placing a cloud of suspicion over an entire industry because of the bad deeds of a few firms and people.

Certainly information like that provided by Apsalar and Forensiq helps to crystallize that fight. But knowing about app fraud is definitely not enough. We must all do our parts to ensure that we limit it to the absolute minimum possible for the industry. It is probably unrealistic to expect a fraud-free industry in the short-term. But make no mistake – that should be everyone’s goal.

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