Behind the MRC’s new anti-fraud rules
Talking with David Gunzerath of the Media Rating Council
There’s been a huge boom in digital advertising in recent years, with online poised to overtake television as the No. 1 ad medium in the United States as soon as next year. But internet advertising has two major things going against it: ad fraud and ad blockers. While the threat of the latter is debatable, the threat of ad fraud is very real. A recent report found that ad fraud costs $18.5 billion per year, or roughly a third of all online revenues. The fraud is caused by bots, computer-generated devices that click on digital ads. The ads are never seen by human eyes but advertisers must pay for them nonetheless. This week the Media Rating Council released new ad fraud guidelines designed to help clean up this growing problem. The new rules, which can be found here, are designed to help detect and root out fraudulent traffic. The finalized rules have been updated since this summer, when the MRC received comments on a draft of the guidelines from major online advertising groups. David Gunzerath, senior vice president and associate director of the Media Rating Council, talks to Media Life about how the rules evolved, what they’re designed to do, and why they’ll be revisited frequently.