Bot Fraud Expected To Cost Digital Marketers More than $7 Billion In 2016

Advertisers are expected to lose an estimated $7.2 billion globally this year as a result of fraudulent impressions, or bots, according to a new study conducted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and fraud mitigation service provider White Ops. Fraud levels are relatively unchanged compared to the results of a similar study conducted a year ago. While bot volumes have remained steady, digital spend has increased, leading to the increase in estimated global losses from ad fraud.

“The level of criminal, non-human traffic literally robbing marketers’ brand-building investments is a travesty,” says Bob Liodice, ANA president and CEO. “The staggering financial losses and the lack of real, tangible progress at mitigating fraud highlights the importance of the industry’s Trustworthy Accountability Group in fighting this war. It also underscores the need for the entire marketing ecosystem to manage their media investments with far greater discipline and control against a backdrop of increasingly sophisticated fraudsters.”

Forty-nine ANA member companies participated in the 2015 Bot Baseline study. Those participants deployed White Ops detection tags on their digital advertising to measure bot fraud. Data was collected from nearly 10 billion online advertising impressions across 1,300 campaigns over 61 days, from August 1 through September 30, 2015.

“In problems of security and fraud, the ‘attacker’s advantage’ of only needing to find one weakness in a defense is well understood,” says White Ops CEO Michael Tiffany. “The study highlights the challenges faced by the advertising ecosystem as defenders, and the many techniques that a sophisticated, persistent adversary can exploit within the online advertising industry. Although our study definitively demonstrates areas of improvement because parts of the industry have become laser-focused on continually tightening controls and adjusting transparency, we are still facing an uphill battle to achieve broad acceptance of the need for deeper focus on the fraud problem, and ultimately to reverse these financial trends.”

To read more on the study’s findings and recommendations, click here.

filed under industry-news | january-2016
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