VAB Report Examines $84B Digital Ad Fraud Market

VAB data on ad fraud
(Image credit: VAB)

NEW YORK—Digital ad fraud is an old issue but it remains a very large problem for marketers going into 2024, according to a newly released report from the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) that cites data from Juniper Research pegging digital ad fraud at a whopping $84 billion in 2023 and projections showing that the financial impact is expected to more than double in the next five years. 

To highlight the size of the problem, VAB also estimates that the North American cost of digital ad fraud is roughly equivalent to the total national and local cable TV ad spend in the U.S.

The newly released “Hidden Costs: Three Critical Business Ramifications of Digital Ad Fraud” examines the financial, brand reputational and legal ramifications associated with fraudulent digital video campaigns through case studies and provides guidance on how advertisers can push their media partners to address the issue. 

"Many marketers are aware of the financial risks of digital ad fraud. However, the conditions around that fraud—such as data breaches and adjacencies to objectionable content—also put marketers and their brands in legal and reputational peril," said Sean Cunningham, president and CEO, VAB. "This is all in stark contrast to the high standards of accountability, transparency and brand safety which have always defined the premium video landscape. In 2024, VAB is committed to ending that double standard, and we will continue the fight for a fair and transparent marketplace."

With case studies included, the report elaborates on:

  • Financial Risk: In 2023, the estimated global cost of digital ad fraud was $84 billion, and that figure is projected to more than double over the next five years (Source: Juniper Research).
  • Brand Reputational & Corporate Risk: A lack of campaign buy transparency can mean that video ads may play in unsuitable or objectionable environments which can devalue brands.
  • Legal Risk: Data leaks and breaches can break consumer trust and cost companies in fines from government entities.
  • Further, VAB calculated that the North American cost of digital ad fraud is roughly equivalent to the total national and local cable TV ad spend in the US.
  • The report also closely examines Adalytics' three studies, all released in 2023, which delve into these issues.

The full report is available here

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.