Bot fraudsters will steal US$7.2 billion from brands in 2016: ANA

Brands across the globe will lose US$7.2 billion in 2016 as a direct result of online fraud driven by bots, a new study has found.

The joint study, conducted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and digital advertising security firm White Ops, revealed that publishers with higher cost-per-thousand (CPM) rates were more likely to be impacted by bots, while display ads with CPMs greater than US$10 had a 39% occurrence of bot activity when compared to cheaper forms of digital properties.

The study also found that programmatic ad buys and programmatic video ads rendered considerably higher instances of bot activity than the study average.

Bots typically create millions upon millions of ad impressions which aren’t seen by anyone, but will often be charged to marketers as a viewed promotion.

ANA president and CEO Bob Liodice said the problem was a travesty for marketers and far greater discipline and control is needed.

“The level of criminal, non-human traffic literally robbing marketers’ brand-building investments is a travesty. 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,” said Liodice.

The forecast is a rise in last year’s prediction, which tipped bot-driven fraud to cost marketers US$6.3 billion. This figure is consistent with the study’s findings that instances of bots affecting digital advertisers is steadily on the rise.

Furthermore, it was revealed that, in 2015, digital advertisers had a range of bot percentages varying from 3% to 37%, a significant rise when compared to a range of 2% to 22% in 2014.

The study also found that campaigns specifically targeting Latino consumers were nearly twice as likely to encounter bot traffic.

The study surveyed 49 ANA members and examined 1300 campaigns from August to September last year.


BY Tate Papworth ON 20 January 2016