In a recent report, the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has claimed that ad fraud might grow to become one of the most serious forms of organised crime, next on the list after cocaine and opiate market scandals.

To address what appears to be a growing issue, the global advertiser body has called for its members to help fight the offence by tightening contracts with ad tech vendors and agencies.

WFA is urging marketers to thoroughly review agreements “to the extent where contractual liability becomes the key driver for partner behaviour change”.

Taking a firm stand on the issue and aiming to provide the industry with tools to diminish ad fraud, the organisation has also published recommendations on best practice.

Growing concern

In its report, titled ‘Compendium of Ad Fraud Knowledge for Media Investors,’ WFA urges advertisers to pursue full transparency for their investments, as well as to require a return of fees and commissions made by ad platforms, networks and agencies that have fallen victim to ad fraud.

Among other recommendations, the report also suggests they should be firm in seeking legal repercussions from those who commit ad-related crimes whilst asking third-party sellers to share open solutions.

A member of the WFA Global Transparency Group and Unilever’s senior vice-president of global media at Unilever, Luis Di Como branded the fight against ad fraud as a job for the entire industry to combat.

“It’s important that we work together with our peers and industry partners to address the challenges we face, and collaborate to change the way the current ecosystem operates,” he said.

WFA has claimed ad fraud results in approximately $45 billion (£31 billion) being spent on ads that do not return. It also anticipates that at the current rate of growth, annual losses might scale up to as much as $140 billion by 2025.