In a report in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), it was said that Google is providing refunds to some advertisers that used DoubleClik Bid Manager in conjunction with ads that were placed on sites with fraudulent or invalid traffic:
In the past few weeks, Google has informed hundreds of marketers and ad agency partners about the issue with invalid traffic, known in the industry as “ad fraud.” The ads were bought using the company’s DoubleClick Bid Manager.
Google’s refunds amount to only a fraction of the total ad spending served to invalid traffic, which has left some advertising executives unsatisfied, the people familiar with the situation said. Google has offered to repay its “platform fee,” which ad buyers said typically ranges from about 7% to 10% of the total ad buy.
DoubleClick represents that it offers “industry-leading fraud protection.” Even though that is accurate, fraudulent traffic is continuously growing on programmatic exchanges.
In a recent report by The&Partnership, it was estimated by m/SIX and Adloox that invalid traffic and fraud would waste $16.4 billion ad budget spending this year globally. In an earlier report by he Association of National Advertisers, it was estimated that fraud would cost advertisers $7.2 billion in 2016.
In the WSJ report, it was characterized that fraud that resulted in the refund was “larger than usual.” There wasn’t any data released by Google on the extent of the fraud, or even the dollar amount of refunds offered.
It was reported that Google is seeking to put in place of what amounts to a money-back guarantee from exchanges if fraud is found. The idea is that those who are unwilling to participate would be identified, allowing agencies and brands to avoid those networks:
The company said it is entering discussions with the 100-plus exchanges, ad networks and publishers DoubleClick Bid Manager plugs into and asking them to display to ad buyers whether they are willing to refund the entire media spend if ad-fraud instances occur. Buyers could then opt to filter out the sources of inventory that don’t have such a policy.
According to Google, the instance of the constant traffic fraud is fairly small when compared to the volume of impressions and spending.