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What threat does mobile advertising fraud pose to an ever growing market?

  • United Kingdom
  • Financial services disputes and investigations
  • Fraud and financial crime
  • Litigation and dispute management


Mobile advertising accounted for 56% of all UK corporate ad spending in 2019 at £8.78 billion [1]. With the mobile advertising market driving extraordinarily high revenues and companies committing more funds to mobile advertising each year, it is unsurprising that we have seen an increase in fraud in this area.

Enquiries made of us include, what forms mobile advertising fraud may take, the identity of those perpetrating such frauds, what steps can be taken to recover sums defrauded and how clients can protect themselves against mobile advertising fraud.

Over the next four weeks we will be publishing four articles focusing on these key questions. Our articles will offer insight on the following:

1. How is the mobile advertising market structured?

Our first article will focus on the structure of the mobile advertising market and explain why it is systemically susceptible to fraud.

When a company contracts with an advertising agency, it may expect that the advertising agency will personally place its advertisements on third party websites and applications. In practice, advertising agencies typically contract with a number of “networks” to place the advertisements on behalf of the client. It is also common for networks to sub-contract between themselves, often leaving it unclear who is ultimately responsible for placing an advertisement on a third party website or application.

Understandably, this lack of transparency and accountability leaves the market susceptible to fraud.

2. What types of fraud are prevalent in the mobile advertising market?

Our second article will address the types of fraud which are being perpetrated in the mobile advertising market.

With remuneration in the mobile advertising market usually being based on a “pay-per click” or “pay-per download” basis, if such figures are fraudulently altered or manipulated, there can be a direct cost to your business for services that have not been provided or revenue that has not been genuinely gained.

Such frauds occur in a number of different ways. We will explain these and provide some indicators to help you identify if you have been a potential victim to mobile advertising fraud.

3. What steps can be taken if you believe you have been a victim of fraud?

The multi-jurisdictional nature of the mobile advertising market makes it difficult to seek appropriate redress from the proper party following a fraud. It is therefore important that legal advice is taken from a firm with global reach and cross-border litigation experience.

We will explain the benefits of using litigation tools to untangle the complex structure of the mobile advertising market, identifying which parties have perpetrated the fraud and what legal redress may be pursued.

4. How to avoid being the next victim of mobile advertising fraud?

Our final article will detail key steps which companies can take to protect themselves, and minimise risk in respect of, mobile advertising fraud. Whether it be implementing third party software to monitor clicks and installations or frequent due diligence of relationships with advertising agencies, our suggested key steps will demonstrate how to enjoy the benefits of mobile advertising whilst minimising the risk of mobile advertising fraud.

Coming Up Next

Our first article “How is the mobile advertising market structured?” will be published next week.

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