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X-raying Fraud in Out-of-Home (OOH) Media Buying: Why Brands Must Prioritize Media Monitoring and Compliance



By: Philip Odiakose



Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising has long been a cornerstone of brand promotion, but with the digital shift, the industry has encountered new challenges, including fraudulent practices. This article aims to explore the landscape of fraud in Out-of-Home (OOH) media buying, emphasizing the critical importance for brands to implement independent media monitoring strategies and ensure compliance to protect their OOH media asset investments and brand equity.

Understanding Fraud in OOH Media Buying:

Fraudulent activities in OOH media buying encompass various deceptive practices, such as ad placement discrepancies, misrepresented viewership data, and manipulated performance metrics. These practices undermine the authenticity and efficacy of OOH campaigns, misleading brands about the actual reach and impact of their advertisements. These bad practices are always common when brands contract their OOH media buying and allow the same agency to provide compliance. This is the case of the media buyers being “the accused, the judge and the jury.”

Impact on Brands:

The repercussions of OOH media buying fraud are significant. Brands investing in OOH advertising are likely to suffer from inflated costs, diminished ROI, and compromised brand credibility due to inaccurate performance metrics. Such fraudulent activities not only dent financial resources but also erode consumer trust, leading to a negative impact on brand reputation.

The Role of Media Monitoring:

Media monitoring emerges as a pivotal solution in combating fraud in OOH media buying. Leveraging an independent media monitoring consultant, brands can track and analyze the placement and performance of their OOH assets from an unbiased and independent perspective. Continuous monitoring enables the detection of irregularities, discrepancies, and non-compliance, empowering brands to take prompt corrective action.

Importance of Compliance:

Adherence to industry standards and best practices is crucial in mitigating the risks associated with OOH media buying fraud. Compliance with regulations, such as those set by OAAN (Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria), ensures transparency, accuracy, and accountability in OOH advertising campaigns. Brands that prioritize compliance contribute to a more reliable and trustworthy advertising ecosystem.

Strategies for Mitigation:

To effectively combat fraud in OOH media buying, brands should adopt a multi-pronged approach. This includes establishing clear contractual agreements with vendors, conducting regular media audits of OOH placements, leveraging location-based data for verification, and investing in independent OOH media monitoring for audit and complaints.


Fraud in OOH media buying poses a significant threat to brands’ advertising investments and credibility. Prioritizing media monitoring and compliance with industry standards are indispensable steps in safeguarding brands against fraudulent practices. By staying vigilant and ensuring accountability in OOH advertising, brands can uphold their integrity, maximize campaign effectiveness, and foster trust among their target audience.


Philip Odiakose is the Chief Media Analyst and Managing Consultant at  P+ Measurement Services and TMKG Consulting, members of the Media Monitoring and Audit Group (MMAG).