Google dismisses ad fraud allegations after damning research report

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Google denies allegations of ad fraud

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Photo credit: Arkan Perdana

Google dismisses ad fraud allegations after a damning research report suggests the company has been skyrocketing video ad views and may have misled advertisers. The claim is reminiscent of the 2018 Facebook video ads scandal.

The report out of adalytics examines the performance of Google’s TrueView ads, which allegedly allow advertisers to pay only for actual views and not for impressions. TrueView ads appear on YouTube videos and across the web, allowing users to skip after five seconds. The report shows that these skippable ads appear even on a muted autoplay site on independent websites and mobile apps. Even though the ads were muted, they were marked as 100% viewable. It’s a scandal similar to Facebook’s claim that a call takes three seconds. Great metrics for Google and Facebook on paper – but real results are missing.

The report also showed how TrueView ads were placed on third-party websites that didn’t meet the quality expectations of those who bought the ads. Google states that it is advertisers fault for not restricting exposure on third party sites.

“When advertisers create video ad campaigns, they can clearly see during campaign setup that their ads may be served on third-party sites via GVP,” said a Google spokesperson. However, says Dr. Augustine Fou, that’s not entirely true. “This is not true when running PMax campaigns. There is no way to opt out of showing ads on GVP.”

Many advertisers are reconsidering the role of big tech in targeting. The 2018 Facebook video scandal brought a closer look into how ad dollars are spent online. Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter has seen an upswing Ads down 59% as advertisers suspend or discontinue advertising on the Platform altogether. Reddit has its own problems. “Between June 13 and June 23, average daily visits to Reddit’s advertising portal decreased by about 20%.” reports TechCrunch on the impact of reddit’s protests and its ad revenue.