Adjust finds a way to reduce mobile ad fraud


Adjust has distinguished itself as a mobile measurement firm that has led the charge against fraud in mobile advertising. And today, the Berlin-based company is unveiling a new method to help prevent that fraud.

Adjust wants its tool, Click Validation Through Proof of Impression, to be a new standard in the fight against mobile fraud.

With fraud estimated to represent in excess of $50 billion by 2025, Adjust’s new standard is designed to give marketers greater clarity of ad clicks and bring more transparency to the sector.

Along with the announcement of the new standard, the company also released a white paper in which the reasons and solutions are explained. The standard forms part of Adjust’s wider mission to combat mobile ad fraud and create a more honest and open ecosystem.

Leading networks including Adcolony, Applift, Aarki, Chartboost, InMobi, ironSource, Liftoff, Vungle, and programmatic in-house software Kayzen have already begun implementing the new standard into their system.

Click validation through proof of impression

Above: Adjust’s Paul Muller says ad fraud is a growing problem for mobile developers.

Image Credit: Michael O’Donnell/VentureBeat

Adjust’s new standard for Click Validation encourages ad networks to send impression data with a unique identifier that corresponds with resulting clicks from users. Throughout the year, it will become a core requirement for all network members of the Coalition Against Ad Fraud (CAAF), an industry-wide alliance founded by Adjust to tackle mobile ad fraud. Other industry players are also invited to do so, creating more transparency and unifying efforts to prevent fraud in the ecosystem.

By requesting an impression before the click, it will make it possible to check if there was a matching engagement made by the same device – leading to more accurate attribution and less budget wasted on ad fraud. The new standard will first be piloted with select clients already using Adjust’s Fraud Prevention Suite.

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“This new Click Validation industry standard raises the bar for fraudsters, making fraud far less lucrative,” explained, Paul  Müller, cofounder and chief technology officer at Adjust, in a statement. “This step toward transparency is long overdue, and we invite all ad networks and attribution providers to adopt this new improved standard as soon as possible. Only by working together will we be able to get rid of ad fraud for good.”

The validation requirement dramatically increases the workload for fraudsters seeking to steal brands’ and advertisers’ ad budgets, particularly through the most prevalent methods of ad fraud in the market today: Click Injection and Click Spamming.

The latest in Adjust’s anti-fraud initiatives

The new fraud filter, along with the rest of Adjust’s fraud prevention initiatives, forms part of the company’s mission to bring education and transparency to the mobile marketing ecosystem. As the industry becomes increasingly concerned about ad fraud, Adjust has spearheaded an industry-wide movement with a hands-on approach to eliminating the issue for good.

The company led the creation of the Coalition Against Ad Fraud (CAAF). In January 2019, Adjust also announced the acquisition of award-winning cybersecurity and AI startup Unbotify. Integrating Unbotify’s disruptive technology will bolster Adjust’s product offering while making it even harder for fraudsters to target the company’s clients.

“We’re excited to partner with Adjust on their Click Validation initiative and look forward to continuing the push back against malicious actors,” said Vikas Gulati, head of performance at AdColony, in a statement. “As members of the CAAF, we’re committed to combating fraud in all its guises, and through our partnership with Adjust, click validation is another important tool for AdColony platform partners & advertisers.”

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In December 2018 Adjust acquired data aggregation platform Acquired.io. In January 2019, Adjust acquired the award-winning cybersecurity and AI startup Unbotify. The acquisitions are part of Adjust’s goal to unify advertisers’ marketing efforts and build the best-in-class measurement and fraud prevention tools.

“We are excited to see how Adjust is making steps towards better tracking, traffic quality and overall industry health,” said Pepe Agell, chief strategy officer at Chartboost, in a statement. The new click validation system allows supply sources like Chartboost to ensure that Adjust can reference clicks to actual impressions. This initiative will help high quality sources stand out from fraudsters that are using click-injection to game attribution. As a publisher-direct SDK, Chartboost is fully supportive of this initiative.”



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