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Digital Transformation

Singapore is the most vulnerable to adfraud in Southeast Asia, says report

By Shawn Lim | Reporter, Asia Pacific

Integral Ad Science


brand safety article

April 25, 2018 | 4 min read

Singapore is the most vulnerable to advertising fraud in the online ecosystem, when compared to the rest of Southeast Asia.

Its high fraud risk stands at 20.7% because of its position as an advanced market where advertisers spend more, which also makes the country a hot bed for bad actors to thrive.


Singapore's high fraud risk stands at 20.7% because of its position as an advanced market where advertisers spend more.

This is according to a media quality report for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan for the second half of the fiscal year in 2017, released by Integral Ad Science for the first time. It also found that after Singapore, the next most vulnerable market is Hong Kong, which has a high fraud risk of 14%.

Speaking to The Drum, Niall Hogan, the managing director for SEA at IAS said Singapore and Hong Kong’s vulnerability can be blamed on fraudsters chasing the higher cost per thousand that a market like both countries commands.

“Both Singapore and HK are relatively small markets, with a finite amount of supply. If suppliers buy in additional traffic to satisfy demand, they open themselves up to working with fraudulent traffic,” added Hogan. “It is important that suppliers monitor this to weed out the fake impressions, and that agencies and advertisers use anti-fraud technology not to target such impressions.”

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The report also found that when it comes to display ads, Malaysia has the highest rate of viewable ads at 68.9%, surpassing SEA and global benchmarks.

According to Hogan, this is because brands and agencies in Malaysia have been quick to grasp the optimisation potential of viewability on DSPs and to use this data to target more viewable ads with their programmatic buy.

Overall, viewability in SEA, Hong Kong, and Taiwan stands 58.9%, which is above the global average of 55.8%. Across all buy types, nearly one in four impressions is still in view after 15 seconds.

When it comes to brand risk, the report found that Indonesia’s online ecosystem posed the highest threat to brand safety in SEA, as only 9.1% of display ad impressions are flagged for appearing on unsafe websites.

This is worrying for Hogan, who had some advice for brands who do business in Indonesia when it comes to protecting their brand, given the high levels of ads appearing on unsafe websites.

“Firstly, the brands need to educate themselves on media quality, and understand the efficiencies and value that they can drive by improving things like brand safety and viewability,” he explained.

“Secondly, they need to work with a company like IAS, that can block impressions from being served onto inappropriate pages. This needs to be an always on approach, that is tracked and monitored continuously.”

The full report can be viewed here.

Digital Transformation

Content created with:

Integral Ad Science (IAS) is a global leader in digital media quality. IAS makes every impression count, ensuring that ads are viewable by real people, in safe and suitable environments, activating contextual targeting, and driving supply path optimization. Our mission is to be the global benchmark for trust and transparency in digital media quality for the world’s leading brands, publishers, and platforms. We do this through data-driven technologies with actionable real-time signals and insight. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in New York, IAS works with thousands of top advertisers and premium publishers worldwide. For more information, visit

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