The second and final day of Ad:tech 2016 witnessed a panel discuss 'Ad Fraud - Is this the dark side of digital media'. The discussion covered bots, frauds and growing responsibility of publishers to address such issues.
Among speakers on 4 March 2016 were Shuchi Singhal, GM – marketing, Idea Cellular; Nirmalya Sen, CEO, Havas Worldwide India; Tarun Jain, head of products at Flipkart; Prabhvir Sahmey, head of platform solutions, Google; and Lawrence Fu, CEO, LeadHug
Ceding that ad fraud is a problem faced by all brands, Jain described the definition ad fraud as: "If there was an impression delivered when there is no probability of a human ever seeing it." He made the case for more transparency between publishers and advertisers to tackle the issue.
Singhal noted that to counter bots, and ad frauds, the solution was technology.
On how Google tackles such issues, Sahmey said that the company looks for malicious behaviour in programmatic buying, action fraud and click fraud.
The panel underlined the need for publishers to stay ahead of bots, since it becomes difficult to track fraud on a single click.
Sen said, "There are people in the chain who indulge in it knowingly, or unknowingly. It is important that people have the desire to solve it, and have the knowledge to be able to solve it."
Jain said that while most advertisers might be able to build technology on their side to counter such practices, some might not even realise it. "Hence, it is the responsibility of the publisher so that right investment is done in right direction," he added.
The panel concurred that only technology (auto bot) can help beat malicious technology, in the longer run.
Vanity metrics vs 'real' metrics
Pravin Jadhav, head – growth at Freecharge, and Mohita Sadani, head – growth at Snapdeal, opened day two with their keynote presentation on how the entities have managed to grow and acquire scale.
Freecharge was acquired by Snapdeal in April 2015.
The key, according to the duo, was focussing on key metrics (such as transacting users) from vanity metrics (number of downloads). "Real metrics bring you back to reality, while vanity only makes you look good. Do not stop at getting the install/download. It is important to be closely synced to growth team agenda," the duo asserted.
Alok Saraogi, VP – brand marketing and corporate communications, Ashok Leyland; Sourav Shah, head of digital marketing at Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services; Sankalp Sani, associate director,IDFC; Ashish Virmani, AVP – marketing, FreeCharge; and Shubhajit Sen, CMO, Micromax Informatics were part of the panel that discussed 'Evolving vernacular creativity'.
The panel surmised that brands will have to turn vernacular, and turn to vernacular advertising. Speakers noted that while media houses, and agencies may not be equipped currently to go vernacular, crowdsourcing or outsourcing could be the option to reach out to regional audiences. RoI and measurement continue to be a problem for vernacular, which currently depends on translation and not as much original content, they observed.