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Geotargeted Ad Fraud – Types and Remedies

by | Mar 13, 2018 | BIA, Blog

BIA’s complimentary Geotargeted Ad Fraud webinar, Wed March 21st from 2pm-3pm EST, tackles both a well-recognized and growing problem in digital media. In this webinar, we’ll dissect what’s going on in geotargeted ad fraud and explore the different kinds of fraud and potential remedies both media and their clients can pursue.

BIA released a report last October 2017 presenting some preliminary new research we did in collaboration with leading cybersecurity and ad fraud researcher, Dr. Augustine Fou. That report, “Ad Fraud in Targeting Local Audiences,” is available here.

Now, in next week’s webinar, we’ll build on report to share some new data and insights, offer ideas for remedies and a look ahead at how ad fraud is evolving. For example, what might not be well known is that national ad platform inventory has some important differences from the ad inventory offered by local media and publishers.

As local media and publishers seek revenue growth from digital and cross-platform sales, the risks of ad fraud increase. BIA estimates that on an annual basis almost $3 billion is at risk of geotargeting ad fraud, using current estimates of the amount of local ad spend that is currently spent in digital and online media. This number is likely to continue upward as marketers continue to increase allocation to digital.

The primary reason for the risk of fraud in geotargeted programmatic media buys is that fraudsters can make their bots appear to be coming from any geolocation through a variety of techniques including passing fake geodata or using proxy IP addresses that appear to be in certain geolocations. In this way, the advertisers using geotargeting in programmatic may be tricked into paying for ads shown to users that are not humans and that are pretending to be in the geographies targeted. The fraudsters’ bots can also simulate pageviews, clicks, downloads, and other parameters typically used to assess audience engagement, thereby giving encouraging but false reports of campaign success.


Dr. Augustine Fou, Cybersecurity and Ad Fraud Researcher Marketing Science Consulting Group

Rick Ducey, Ph.D., Managing Director, BIA Advisory Services

Join us for this important discussion. Register here.