Bob Hoffman:

If we are to believe an estimate by JPMorgan Chase, online ad fraud is out of control. They claim that this year it has more than doubled to $16.4 billion. Last year it was estimated to be $7.2 billion.

Meanwhile, the cluefree inner circle of marketing are filling each other full of hot air about the wonderful job they’re doing fighting ad fraud. According to them and their happy talk cyber-security consultants, who have proven to be completely ineffectual, ad fraud will drop 10% this year. There’s not a sensible, knowledgeable person anywhere to be found who believes this horseshit. But it is perfectly indicative of the fantasyland our industry “leaders” are living in.

The major problem is this: There’s no one seriously fighting fraud. We have a wildfire burning and there’s no fire department. The ad tech industry is spending $1.5 million to fight ad fraud. What fraction of the cost of the problem are they spending on a solution? Do the math, it’s .00009. Is it any wonder fraud grew over 100% this year?

The barrier to entry to ad fraud is virtually non-existent, and there are no penalties for being caught. It is the perfect crime – anyone can do it, no one competent is fighting it, and no one goes to jail. The World Federation of Advertisers says within 8 years it may be the second largest source of criminal income in the world, after drug trafficking.