Fake traffic forces Google to issue refunds to advertisers

Fake traffic forces Google to refund marketers and advertisers

Google is issuing refunds to marketers and ad agency partners who used the company’s DoubleClick Bid Manager, after it found evidence of ads running on websites with fake traffic.

Having informed hundreds of partners about the issue with invalid traffic, Google has offered to reimburse about 7% to 10% of the total purchase an advertiser pays on DoubleClick, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

To counter such issues, the internet giant is asking the 100-plus exchanges, ad networks and publishers that DoubleClick Bid Manager plugs into to display to ad buyers whether they are willing to refund the entire media spend if ad fraud instances occur.

It is also working on technology to ensure advertisers automatically receive a full credit back from Google and its partners if incidents of ad fraud occur.

A Google spokesperson told The Drum: “We can't comment on specific details of ad fraud but the vast majority is filtered in our systems before our advertisers are ever impacted or charged. Maintaining a healthy ads ecosystem and improving transparency in supply chain for our advertisers is an area we continue to invest in significantly."

"Some of those key initiatives include working with the broader industry to make it easier to spot counterfeit ads across the industry through ads.txt. In our own platforms, we’re working with our exchange partners to remove monetary incentives for spammers and increase transparency for buyers.”

According to the Bot Baseline report, economic losses due to bot fraud are estimated to reach $6.5bn globally in 2017. This is down 10% from the $7.2bn reported in last year’s study.

Google earlier warned a thousand online publishers over bad ads and introduced more ad filters to block content with 'violence, nudity and political satire'.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.