A comprehensive report last week commission by the Association of National Advertisers and conducted by cyber security company, White Ops Inc., confirmed what many in digital marketing and advertising already knew: Ad fraud is getting worse.The study, which analyzed 181 online campaigns from 36 ANA-member advertisers across nine product categories, looked at 5.5 billion impressions. The findings revealed that nearly 23 percent of video ad impressions are triggered by bots and 11 percent of display ad impressions stem from bots. Additionally, 17 percent of programmatic display traffic is fraudulent and 19 percent of retargeted traffic comes from bots. Publishers that boost traffic through third-party sources said 52 percent of their traffic is fraudulent.
This means that advertisers could lose as much as $6.3 billion to bot fraud next year and fall victim to a lack of confidence in display advertising which is estimated to double its spend by 2018, according to Emarketer.
As players in a fast moving digital advertising market, we all need to adopt more sound, safe, and efficient ways of measuring engagement opportunities. Google, for example, has been integrating automated bot-detection into its captchas since at least 2013. And it's also experimenting with advanced risk analysis to filter out bots that could easily use image recognition to read those words.
The IAB is leading change with its task force called Traffic of Good Intent, which recommends a number of business practices that advertisers can take to reduce fraud. Among them is measuring traffic by driving users to sites that generate undisputed human activity, such as making a purchase. Also, the ANA and IAB launched the Trustworthy Accountability Group to create cross-industry compliance and to combat fraud. "Only with the help and dedication of the entire advertising community will we be able to instill confidence in consumers, security in content creators, and gain a better understanding in marketers," the group's mission states.
There are a number of practices that advertisers can deploy to combat fraud, from deploying bot detection technology to creating white lists. What are some practices that you can recomment