Ad fraud has long been recognised as an issue across the adtech industry since its inception, and - though it has been addressed in a much more frank and transparent manner in recent years - it is clear that this expensive problem still persists.

In recent months further details have emerged regarding the shocking practices uncovered by Uber which led to it bringing fraud lawsuits against numerous companies within its adtech network and supply chain. 

One of the key takeaways from this case is appreciating the internal time, resource and effort that Uber had to expend to uncover that it had been the victim of fraud and that its suppliers were engaging in such practices (in this case, primarily ad attribution fraud) - resource that many other innocent brand advertisers may simply not have. It is clear the third party anti-fraud tools and measures utilised throughout the supply chain at that time were not sufficient to uncover what appears to be large scale ad fraud.

There are many useful lessons to be learned by brand advertisers from Uber's experience to ensure adequate scrutiny of this issue and ultimately protection of brands' digital marketing spend. However, no matter the extent of the efforts of individual companies to address and reduce the impact of this issue, it remains clear to me that ad fraud is not a problem which can be substantially ameliorated without significant cross-industry involvement and collaboration to shine a light on, and drive out, the bad actors.