Adjust finds a way to reduce mobile ad fraud

Adjusthas distinguished itself as a leader in the charge against mobile advertising fraud. Today, the Berlin-based mobile measurement company is unveiling a new weapon in its war on fraud.

And Adjust wants its tool — Click Validation Through Proof of Impression — to become a new standard in mobile fraud prevention.

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 explaining its reasoning and solutions. The new 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.

Click validation through proof of impression

Adjust finds a way to reduce mobile ad fraud
Adjust finds a way to reduce mobile ad fraud

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. Over this 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 adopt the standard in order to create more transparency and unify efforts to prevent fraud in the ecosystem.

Requesting an impression before a click will make it possible to check whether a matching engagement was made by the same device — leading to more accurate attribution and less wasted spend. The new standard will first be piloted with select clients already using Adjust’s Fraud Prevention Suite.

“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 ad dollars from brands and advertisers, 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, supports 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 and led the creation of the Coalition Against Ad Fraud (CAAF).

“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 and advertisers.”

In December 2018, Adjust acquired data aggregation platform Then in January 2019 Adjust acquired the award-winning cybersecurity and AI startup Unbotify. These 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.”