The Internet is an amazing tool for businesses to connect with customers, which is why so many companies spend lots of money each year on digital advertising. But, that advertising can be a double-edged sword. It might bring in new customers, but it has also made many companies the victim of fraud. In fact, a recent study by the Association of National Advertisers suggests that online advertisers are losing about $6.3 billion in ad revenue each year.
The ANA and security firm White Ops looked at advertising traffic from websites belonging to major companies to provide a more in-depth look at the Internet advertising fraud problem. The results were astounding.
From Aug. 1 to Oct. 1, White Ops researchers studied and analyzed the digital advertising traffic of a who's who of 36 US major corporations from various industries -- all ANA members -- including Ford, Honda, General Mills, Lilly, MasterCard, Merk, MillerCoors, Home Depot, Verizon, Walmart, and Wendy's.
The study found that fake bot impressions have resulted in major losses for advertisers. ANA president and CEO Bob Liodice says the $6.3 billion loss estimate is conservative and actual losses could be as high as $10 billion.