Demand for volume makes Southeast Asia susceptible to ad fraud: AppsFlyer

Insights from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and AppsFlyer detail the underlying factors allowing ad fraud to exist, grow and flourish in the Southeast Asian region.

Due to its high mobile penetration rate, improvements to connectivity quality, and expansion of e-payment methods vis-a-vis a booming Fintech industry, the Southeast Asia region is more susceptible to advertising fraud, compared to other regions. According to AppsFlyer, there are exceptionally high fraud rates in the finance vertical in Southeast Asia, with 4 out of 5 markets exceeding 50 percent.

“At the same time, [ad fraud in Southeast Asia] is compounded by fewer resources devoted to app development, the prevalence of fraud in local ad networks, as well as increasing demand from marketers for volume in digital campaigns,” said Beverly Chen, the marketing director, APAC at AppsFlyer. “Southeast Asia is an attractive target for fraudsters, with marketers in the region tapping in on the mobile-first and growing digital nature of the population to drive marketing priorities.”

A report from IAB Southeast Asia & India found that the adoption of tools and measures to curb ad fraud has been significantly low in the region due to several factors such as low technical expertise among client-facing staff, inconsistent measurement benchmarks, and misplaced metrics. A major barrier for using prevention software or ad fraud detection tools stems from the perceived higher costs of the prevention mechanism compared to the costs incurred through ad fraud itself. In the SEA region verification is looked upon as additional overhead.

“Fraud distorts and pollutes the data businesses rely on to make decisions; the resulting misinformation can lead to misallocation of resources, ineffective spending, and heavy financial loss,” she said. “To combat this, marketers must have multi-layered protection solutions in place. Marketers need to understand and remain vigilant against the rising threat of bots, non-human traffic, and the always-evolving techniques of bad actors in order to maintain their competitive advantage.”

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A regional brand safety landscape survey from the trade group found that there are significant inconsistencies in the understanding of ad fraud and revealed that whitelisting is still the most commonly used fraud prevention method, which the trade body does not deem sufficient for detecting sophisticated fraud.

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Babar Khan Javed
Babar Khan Javed
Babar Khan Javed is the chief investigative journalist covering the advertising industry and marketing function in Pakistan. He can be reached on [email protected] with details about media, creative, and digital briefs, future projects, management changes, client wins or losses, and everything in between.

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