Google Ad Manager slips Ad Security Second Quarter Row latest report

Google Chrome significantly outperforms Apple Safari in Browser Security

– For the second quarter in a row, Google Ad Manager underperformed in ad security, ranking 11th of 12 in most utilized SSPs.

– Nearly 1 in every 100 ads delivered by a major SSP was misleading.

– Gambling led with one-third of the ads in the most-blocked category.

– Compared to Chrome, Safari was 75% more susceptible to security issues.

Cybersecurity Adtech pioneer Confiant, released its quarterly Malvertising & Ad Quality Index (MAQ) for Q2 2021. The MAQ index is Confiant’s investigation into the state of ad quality and security in the industry at large to compile the research Confiant analyzes a normalized sample of more than 156 billion ad impressions monitored from April 1 through June 30, 2021 representing more than 22,000 premium websites and apps.

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With one-third of the overall advertising market and for  the second quarter in a row, Google underperformed the industry average in Security, coming in at 47% above the average violation rate and ranking 11th of 12. This is the first time Google has been near the bottom of the SSP rankings over two consecutive quarters. A slip of this kind could have a significant impact on overall ad security given the large volume of ad traffic handled by the internet giant. European markets have historically had higher rates of Security violations than the US, a trend that continued in Q2. Globally, security violation rates were the worst in Spain, while Great Britain showed improvement over the US.

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While Ad Manager underperformed, the report shows Google’s Chrome browser outperformed it’s closest browser competitors, Firefox and Safari. Mozilla’s Firefox was twice as susceptible, and Apple’s Safari was 75 percent more susceptible than Chrome to security issues. Ad security breaches are often used by threat actors to bypass browser pop-up blockers, collect personal information without users’ consent, commit identity theft or to perpetrate other fraudulent activities for financial gain.

Nearly one in every hundred ads delivered by major SSPs during the quarter were considered misleading; while almost the same ratio (1:156) were considered outright dangerous to the user. Misleading and dangerous ad categories include:  keto diet scams, fake financial investments, false celebrity endorsements, and ads that lure users to fake landing pages that endanger personal information.

“The direct financial loss to users due to malicious ads in the misleading and dangerous categories is estimated at over a billion dollars per year,” said Louis-David Mangin, CEO and Co-Founder of Confiant, Inc.

“Our message? The ad industry is not treating its users as valued consumers. Bad actors are attacking your customers, your revenues and your corporate reputation. More action is necessary,” Mangin concluded.

In each report, Confiant tracks impressions from over 100 SSPs. However, the vast majority of global impressions originate from just 12 providers commonly used by the world’s largest publishers. To qualify for inclusion, a provider has to be a consistent source of at least 1 billion Confiant-monitored impressions per quarter, across a global sample. The report examines numerous Ad Quality issues including heavy ads, brand and category conflicts, and undesired video and audio, all of which affect page performance, user retention and can lead to lowered page search ranking by search engines, user loss and revenue loss.  In Q2, the Ad Quality Violation rate continued to steadily increase and violations were far more prevalent in Europe than in the US with the exception of Great Britain, coming in 29 percent better in Ad Quality than the US.

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