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ANA, 4As & IAB chiefs discuss digital security: ‘Even if we stop them now, they’re not going to go away - it’s black mould’

Leaders from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the agency-world needs to act quickly if it hopes to defeat criminal activity in the digital sphere.

Speaking at the 4As Transformation conference, Nancy Hill of the 4As, Bob Liodice of ANA, and Mike Zaneis of the IAB said that it will take a collective effort from industry in order to combat digital fraud, which has already cost an estimated $6.3bn.

“We saw these criminal networks coming in and stealing all this valuable content, and then they go out and victimize our customers, the public,” said Zaneis. “In order to combat that challenge, we needed to go on the offense and take the fight to these criminals wherever they are commiting these crimes.”

Hill added that every cent stolen by criminals is being taken away from the ability to produce better advertising and better conversation models. The key to fixing the problem however, isn’t just the capture of criminals. Rather, it’s prevention.

“Even if we stop them now, they’re not going to go away,” she said. “It’s black mould.”

Currently, different agencies have different policies set in place to catch digital ciminals. This however, isn’t enough, they claimed.

“The agencies have a police force that are catching people in the act,” explained Hill, “but what we have to do is bring down the overall crime level.”

Liodice agreed, adding that the effort may not be cheap, but it’ll be worthwhile.

“You think about the resources we can apply, and if we are successful we save millions,” he said. “You talk about return on investment, you’re not gonna get a better return on investment.”

Along with speaking at the convention, the three agencies have founded TAG, a committee tasked with strenghthening the fight against ad fraud.

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