Digital Advertising

'A quarter' of all digital advertising expenditure goes on fraud, according to estimates


By Natalie Mortimer | N/A

February 12, 2017 | 3 min read

Bots are reportedly causing advertisers 'billions' of pounds a year, amounting to a quarter of all digital advertising falling in the hands of fraud.

According to The Telegraph, criminals use "armies" of hijacked computers to mimic humans browsing. Such computers create fake websites and watch as many as 300 million video there per day. An estimated 70% of online adverts are never seen by humans, the paper reports.


'A quarter' of all digital advertising expenditure goes on fraud, according to estimates

“Bots are rampant and ad fraud is at its highest ever point,” Dr Augustine Fou, a cyber security expert, told The Telegraph.

“They are creating fake websites and adding them by the thousands to the ad networks and no one checks. The whole digital ecosystem is a house of cards built on fake metrics.”

The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.

Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.

Sign up

Advert networks were “making it easy for fraud to happen”, he said.

Last month, a US Federal Law Enforcement concluded in a report named 'Methbot' that advertisers were being defrauded by up to $5m each day. The study sent shockwaves throughout the entire industry with the staggering fees helping cyber security firm White Ops generate international coverage in mainstream media outlets as the anti-fraud unit and Trustworthy Action Group (TAG) assembled 170 of its adtech members for a debrief on the findings

Digital Advertising

More from Digital Advertising

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +