Sizmek finds Ad fraud exists in over half of uncertified apps

Study reveals need for marketers to engage in protective measures for in-app ads

Austin, Texas, UNITED STATES

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 12, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ad fraud appears on over half (52%) of uncertified apps and in nearly one tenth (8%) of certified app traffic, according to a new whitepaper released today by Sizmek, an open ad management company for multiscreen experiences. The study, Advertising Fraud in Mobile Apps, uncovers the staggering volume of malicious traffic1—manifested as unsolicited or nonviewable advertising—which has the potential to increase advertiser costs and impart a poor experience for users by slowing phone speeds and draining battery life.

Sizmek analyzed around 20 billion app impressions on iOS and Android devices. In total, approximately 24,000 apps not certified by official stores were discovered to be generating malicious traffic. In addition, although official app stores provide a layer of oversight to prevent fraudulent apps from entering the marketplace, they still find their way onto mobile devices, typically from users downloading from third-party app stores or websites, where malicious app developers place sophisticated and often “legitimate” looking apps. Sizmek found instances of malicious traffic in around 4,000 certified apps.

“Uncertified apps have become a breeding ground for fraud, so brands need to be vigilant with their mobile targeting as well as their blacklists when seeking safe options to reach and impact audiences via mobile,” said Zach Schapira, Global Product Strategist at Sizmek. “If an advertiser is deploying a piece of their budget towards in-app advertising, it’s important that they understand that malicious activity does not discriminate. As a result, it’s vital that advertisers utilize the brand safety measures available to them when planning campaigns.”

Additional key data includes:

  • For iOS devices, half (50%) of illegally downloaded uncertified apps performed malicious activity.
  • Over half (56%) of all uncertified apps on Android devices performed malicious activity.
  • AVG, a common protection suite, discovered less than a quarter (22%) of all malicious apps and under half (43%) of all malicious traffic on uncertified apps.

To read the white paper in full please visit

About Sizmek
Sizmek is the Open Ad Management company that brings freedom of choice and contextual relevance to omnichannel digital advertising. As the largest independent ad server, more than 42,000 next generation advertisers, agencies, publishers, and trading desks rely on Sizmek’s offerings and flexible third-party platform integrations to provide the industry’s most customizable, best-in-class approach to creating seamless workflow across a wide variety of partners in the digital advertising ecosystem. With a single point of access to the best technology, data, and strategic guidance, Sizmek builds flexible solutions for marketers and publishers that combine programmatic efficiency with creative. Sizmek operates in more than 70 countries, with local offices providing award-winning service throughout North America, EMEA, LATAM, and APAC.

1 A “malicious app” is any app that generates malicious advertising activity or traffic that is not “normal” and is meant to perpetrate fraud.