Dhiraj Gupta


How big is the ad fraud industry in India and globally, and how much should marketers really worry about it?

Globally it’s a $19 billion industry with APAC contributing 42% or $8 Bn of this. India is among key Asian markets, where its estimated to be $1.7 bn as of 2018 end. Ad fraud is increasingly becoming an organisation level issue not just affecting digital or marketing function. Besides eating up ad spend for no returns, it’s also causing serious dent to the brand image and we are seeing Brand Safety as a major concern for the CX Level leadership of any organisation.

What are the various kinds of ad fraud that brands need to be vary of, and what can they do to defend themselves?

We can broadly categorise ad fraud into app and web frauds. These can be further classified as click frauds, incent frauds, acquisition frauds, coupon frauds, organic traffic hijack frauds and so on. Essentially, we see ad fraud impacting the entire customer life cycle starting from acquisition through engagement to retention. The fraudsters are faking a user, device or behaviour to make illegitimate gains.

The only way to address it is recognise it and not have an ostrich’s approach hiding the head in the sand. Its real time and omnipresent. Better for organisations to proactively engage with ad fraud solutions and safeguard. There should be zero tolerance towards ad fraud in real terms. Waking up only when you realise its impacting 30-35% of the ad spend isn’t prudent. You may be able to undo the ad spend loss, but it takes hell lot of efforts to bring back the reputation lost.

What are some of the basic features one should look for in a fraud detection software that they purchase?

Some of the basic features to look for is it should be able to handle issue in real time, give you insights and analytics, is platform agnostic and applies very robust algorithms. For instance, we keep on aligning our algorithms due to our persistent R&D which gives advertisers a better visibility of ad fraud.

Other than this an important aspect is that the solution should be offering a holistic coverage.

Of course beyond the solution is also consulting and operations which makes us unique in providing end to end coverage . For instance, our customer teams work as anti ad-fraud advisors to our clients, who consistently keep on advising clients about the best practices.

Who are some of the biggest clients you are working with, and what feedback are you receiving from the India market?

DG: We work with who’s who of digital eCommerce in India and key geographies globally, Unfortunately, we cannot share the names owing to confidentiality terms.

Overall feedback is acceptability of this problem is much wide spread in CXO’s and advertisers are asking us to provide full funnel analysis ,rather than just acquisition matrix. Some of the top priorities being actively discussed are Ad Fraud , Brand Safety , Search Abuse and other such evolving concerns and we are happy , that we are able to drive meaningful solutions to provide them protection

What are your plans for the Indian ecosystem? How do you plan to grow in 2019 and beyond?

DG: We have fairly engaged with the Digital Commerce players in India and our focus is now on key segments like BFSI, Retail, Gaming and OTT Players who are emerging as top spenders.

Besides, in 2019, our focus is to scale up in global geographies including Middle East, South East Asia and LATAM .