New IAB report highlights concerns over online traffic fraud

  • Feb 06, 2014

Matthew Caylor, MANSI Media's Director of Interactive Media

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) report, “Traffic Fraud Best Practices for Reducing Risk to Exposure,” released at the end of January 2014, opens with the statement, “Advertisers expect that all online content is delivered to human audiences.”

Unfortunately, this expectation does not hold true across all digital mediums, and robotic traffic is driving at least some of the paid impressions across the web. This illegitimate traffic devalues the digital environment and dilutes the value of inventory on the legitimate sites run by local media across the country. Those pushing these illicit impressions, or “bad actors,” as the IAB report refers to them, are unconcerned with these issues and only look to capture a portion of the digital advertising pie.

What does this mean for local media?

If this problem continues to spread, be prepared to have your advertisers start asking some difficult questions. Again, from the IAB “Traffic Fraud Best Practices for Reducing Risk to Exposure” report, some recommended questions for advertisers to ask publishers:

  • Do you have your audience measured by verifiable 3rd party systems?
  • How do you assure that ads are served as reported, and that URLs are visible to the advertiser?
  • Do you provide protection from malware?

You can read more about these issues and potential pitfalls by accessing the full report on the IAB website -

Have you experienced fraudulent traffic on your local media site? Share your story with the PNA by emailing

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