Video Essentials

ComScore Shows Where the Viewers Aren’t: Video Ad Fraud Rampant

The measurement specialists at ComScore are creating metrics that let advertisers compare broadcast and online TV ratings. But before they can do that they have to deal with a widespread problem: fraudulent ad traffic.

Fraud“What we’re doing for all of the digital measures is to make sure they have an apples-to-apples comparison with linear TV. To do that, we have to make sure the reach and frequency are actually of humans,” said Anne Hunter, senior vice president of marketing at ComScore, interviewed at the 4As Transformation 2015 conference. “Increasingly, we’re seeing non-human traffic getting into digital measures. In order to have a real apples-to-apples comparison with television GRPs you have to deliver a GRP that is a human GRP. If you wouldn’t let a robot watch a TV in your living room and count in your digital television ratings, you shouldn’t have that in a digital ratings.”

While premium content sites do a good job of keeping robot traffic away, ComScore has found, second-tier ad networks can have shockingly high rates of fraud, and the problem is getting worse.

“It’s increasing in video. The CPMs are there because marketers are looking to move budget to where their audiences are. There’s a huge incentive for people to create an ad base that isn’t seen by humans where they can get paid for. It’s generally not the quality content companies themselves,” Hunter said. “In some cases it can be 40 percent of a digital video campaign that’s not human.”

To learn more, watch the interview below (used with permission of

Fraud image via Shutterstock.



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