Tracking Fraudulent and Low-Quality Display Impressions Articles uri icon

publication date

  • May 2020

start page

  • 309

end page

  • 319


  • 3


  • 49

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0091-3367

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1557-7805


  • Display advertising is traded in a complex market with multiple sides and intermediaries, where advertisers are exposed to several forms of potentially fraudulent behavior. Intermediaries often claim to implement measures to detect fraud but provide limited information about those measures. Advertisers are required to trust that self-regulation efforts effectively filter out low-quality ad impressions. In this article, we propose an approach for tracking key display impression metrics by embedding a light JavaScript code in the ad to collect the necessary information to help detect fraudulent activities. We explain these metrics using the campaign cost per thousand (CPT) and the number of impressions per publisher. We test the approach through six display ad campaigns. Our results provide a counterargument against the industry claim that it is effectively filtering out display fraud and show the utility of our approach for advertisers.