Over half of third party sourced traffic and nearly a quarter of video ad impressions are fraudulent according to a study on bot fraud which has claimed that advertisers will lose $6.3bn globally to bots next year as a result
The study by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and fraud detection company White Ops tagged participants' digital creative in August and September 2014 across 181 campaigns within America in order to understand the level of bot fraud activity with the digital advertising industry. It measured 5.5 billion impressions within 3 million domains across a 60 day period.
The loss of $6.3bn predicted by the study for 2015 was based on $40bn spent globally on digital ads and on $8.3bn spent on video advertising globally, with over 67 per cent of bot traffic assessed in the study having come from residential IP addresses.
Across sectors, Bots accounted for 23 per cent of all video impressions observed, 11 per cent of all display impressions and in programmatic inventory averaged 17 per cent,while bots also consumed 19 per cent of retargeted ads.
Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA, said that the study's findings reflected the mission of all trade bodies involved to develop "a trustworthy supply chain."
He added: "The eradication of bot fraud is critical to the ongoing health of the internet and the ANA is taking the steps necessary to meet this challenge.
"This report identifies specific practices marketers, agencies and publishers can immediately implement to combat fraud and the fraudsters that perpetrate it. The ANA is committed to working closely with our industry partners to support this critical mission. We invite the entire ecosystem to collaborate and invest the necessary resources to reinvigorate trust and confidence in the digital supply chain."
Linda Woolley, president and CEO of TAG (Trustworthy Accountability Group), commented: "TAG was formed by the ANA, 4As and IAB to take on and eradicate the festering problem of ad fraud. Research like this is critical in building a program that will excise this type of criminal activity out of the supply chain. Fraudulent traffic, as well as malware and IP piracy, are obstacles to the growth of of the digital economy, and TAG is committed to eliminating them."
The report has put forward 17 recommendations to help tackle fraudulent traffic, such as; Advertise During Waking Hours, Demand Transparency for Sourced Traffic, Include Language on Non-Human Traffic In Terms and Conditions, Announce Your Anti-Fraud Policy to All External Partners, and use independent monitoring and conduct ongoing fraud analysis of advertising traffic.