The problem was raised back in 2013, when ComScore published a report, according to which 54% of all display ads are invisible. Later, in 2015, within ten days of the experiment the company Forensiq found out that 1% of all devices investigated in the U.S., contains at least one application with this kind of fraud. In Europe and Asia fake ads are found in 2-3% of devices.
Just Forensiq has revealed more than five thousands of apps, invisible display ads on iOS and Android. According to the report, advertisers lose from them about $850 thousand a year. In addition, the abundance invisible ads hampers the normal functioning of the devices. The company found that some of the application plays the advertisement with such high frequency that the audience just cant be real people.
This effect is achieve services, showing about five additional ads in the background, while just one reaches the attention of the user. Some apps continue to display ads even after closing on the smartphone. Unlike other types of malicious software whose main purpose is to harm and make money, these applications are perfectly legitimate and seemingly quite safe, such as games and utilities. They look like they really have actual users.
This, of course, not Angry Birds or Candy Crush, but we are talking about applications that people like and are used. Companies spend effort on developing them. The report Forensiq not named specific services, but some of them are representatives of the company shared with Bloomberg.
Among them were, for example, an app for breastfeeding, released by the magazine American Baby and the developer Sevenlogics. Invisible ads touting restaurants Olive Garden, Amazon and the manufacturer AT IBM. The latest version had 4 stars in the App Store. In one of the reviews the lady complained of constant failures in the operation of the service.
..after several months of using the app has become increasingly hang, restart or disconnect. Also I noticed that it became harder to avoid pop-up ads — they are easy to press accidentally. And now, I swear, the phone guides me right to the App Store, even if I did not touch the screen during the show pop-up banner..
Sevenlogics, the President claims that his company does not use any code to display invisible ads. According to him, it does not work with advertising agencies who are constantly changing their technology. “We monitor all our advertising vendors in order to prevent the appearance of all the Intrusive ads”. Complaints about the slowness and crashing applications also received in respect of developer Girls Games Only, the Issuer Waxing Eyebrows games, and Celebrity Baby Vampire Doctor.
According Forensiq, they also built code that creates a continuous flow of invisible advertising from companies such as Microsoft, Coca-Cola and Mercedes-Benz. “Performance issues, most likely related to additional workload as a result of secondary functions,” reports Forensiq. After the release of a report by analyst firm app were removed from Google Play.
Invisible advertising is banned in the Apple services and Google. However, it is not easy to detect. Sandroff says that you need to monitor the speed of the application for a long time, but companies do not provide technical solutions for this. The founder of the Audience2Media platform John Wanamaker wrote a small column for the industry publication The Drum, in which said.
“Invisible advertising is not bad”. He gave examples of TV and radiolyarii in which it is extremely difficult to track the number of real hits, and noted the imperfection of the technology of today, in which to measure the exact amount of conscious perception of advertising is extremely difficult. However, how to calculate the immeasurable hits — is unclear. Lets not fall into the trap of thinking that the ads are useless, if they are invisible.
Even if some of them do not reach the human eye, they still help to collect the data to companies that work with audience targeting to send the received information to the improvement of behavioral advertising. The end result is a show targeted advertisements to the anonymous users on the basis of these data and increase engagement. Wanamaker offers focus on creating their own technological solutions.
There are many reasons for which advertising is invisible — from the format of the website to design ads. Some of them take longer to download, while others appear outside of the browser window, others are the result of fake traffic exchanges, and still others only displayed if the user scrolls the page down. Each of these items should be addressed individually as soon as possible. Despite the fact that wasting in digital is the problem, it is not as serious as in the cases of radio, TV and print.
His point of view was criticized by a blogger about advertising, The Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman, who responded that it is unwise to put an equal sign between the concepts of invisible advertising and lack of attention of the audience to the content. There is a difference between the situation when people see advertising, and advertising is just not playing. In all advertising there is the risk of being unnoticed (especially in your favourite bananas).
But if 50% of existing ads in principle are invisible (as reported in the Wall Street Journal), online advertisers are in double jeopardy. Hoffman explained that when half of the advertising is not displayed at all, the other half also has all the chances to remain unnoticed. Your thoughts he illustrated with pictures, which compared traditional and online advertising.
He draws the following conclusion about digital advertising. “Only half of the ads you buy, the users see, and half of them they ignore.
That is, 75% of the money on advertising is wasted”. In early November, a tech company AppNexus has released its decision, allowing advertisers to pay only for those ads that users saw. And the criteria view of the firm can determine for yourself.
Google representatives also drew attention to the problem. They stated that when using the Google Display Network advertisers will be protected from buying invisible ads. The company also announced that allowed third-party Analytics firms (AdScience, DoubleVerify and ComScore) to check how true the video considers the views. A similar step was taken and Facebook.
It may seem that with the intervention of major tech giants issue of invisible advertising will soon be exhausted, but its not that simple. AppNexus CEO Brian Okelly draws attention to the fact that it is not going to make advertisers buy only those ads that are visible to users. And he believes that many will not peretruzhdat itself, as used to cheaper options (even though they are less effective and subsequently lead to empty Trad). If you believe his reasoning, it will take several years before invisible ads will actually disappear.