Rocket Fuel Issues Challenge to Ad Industry Over Fraud

rocketfuelProgrammatic media-buying platform Rocket Fuel has issued a challenge to digital marketers to have their ad impressions verified by a third party and publicly reported, in order to dispel worries about fraudulent impressions.

According to comScores findings, up to 36 per cent of all web traffic may be fraudulent, having come from bots or non-human sources, and thus invalidating many of the stats advertising platforms claim.

As part of their challenge to other marketers, Rocket Fuel have released Traffic Scanner, a free impression and traffic quality monitoring tool. The tool, currently released in beta, enables advertisers, agencies and DSP providers to access full visibility into their impressions traffic quality score across their full online ad programs and media properties.

Rocket Fuel faced controversy over their own traffic sources earlier this year, when research claimed that 57 per cent of ads placed by them for a Mercedes Benz campaign were viewed by automated computer programs. While the company hit back at the claim, stating that only 6 per cent of served ads went to questionable sources, it prompted them to look into further verifying their traffic.

The company commissioned a study by Forensiq, an accredited member of the IAB and part of the Anti-Fraud Working Group, to evaluate their impressions. Studying over 142m impressions from 34 campaigns, the results showed that only 3.72 per cent were categorised as high risk of being bot or non-human traffic. This closely matched the results from Rocket Fuels Traffic Scanner, which placed them at 3.45 per cent.

“I cannot stress enough how important we feel it is for marketers and providers in the industry to adopt the standard practice of using a third party from the AFWG to evaluate and report on traffic quality,” said Ari Levenfeld, senior director of privacy & inventory quality at Rocket Fuel. “This is why we use Forensiq as our partner on quality traffic and recommend them to our customers.

“Traffic Scanner is not a substitute for using a third party. But we believe the industry needs a freely available first look at the numbers solution that cuts through the uncertainty and leads to increased trust and value in the ecosystem – so weve launched Traffic Scanner.”