Fake Clicks To Cost Marketers $11.6 Billion

It's a little unsettling to read that marketers expect to waste $11.6 billion in advertising budgets this year due to bots, up 22% from 2013, according to the Solve Media survey findings released Tuesday. Fake traffic costs advertisers big bucks.

Some 59% of agency media buyers participating in the survey see bot traffic negatively affecting campaign performance. About 34% of online publishers surveyed admit they will implement technology to combat the decline in revenue media buyers have seen as a result.

Rob Griffin, EVP and global head of digital at Havas Media Group, said this problem doesn't affect direct-response search marketers as much. Major brands with conservative approaches to media buys don't worry as much because the losses are smaller for them. He said his agency does a lot of analysis to estimate and reduce losses.

The impact of bot traffic on campaigns can send a successful campaign to the grave. Some 41% of corporate brand marketers participating in Solve Media's survey said bot traffic leads to inefficiencies, steals their ad budgets, and hurts overall campaign performance.



Not only do advertisers run the risk of a bot clicking on ads, but the ads can also become injected with malware. These bot clicks not only costs advertisers money, but affect consumers who click on the ad, too. The fake click injects the malware in the ad and the consumer downloads the malware to their computers, smartphones and tablets.

Solve Media surveyed 600 digital media buyers, senior marketers and online publishers in the United States during October and November of 2013 to estimate the amount of wasted budgets.
2 comments about "Fake Clicks To Cost Marketers $11.6 Billion".
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  1. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, January 30, 2014 at 10:40 a.m.

    This is an issue for real-time email marketing too. Though the big problem is not malware or crooks - it's bots pretending to be shoppers, to scrape prices and estimate stock levels, presumably on behalf of legimate competitors. These bots can be a large proportion of site traffic and you need rules to ignore them, to protect your marketing data.

  2. Al DiGuido from Optimus Publishing, January 30, 2014 at 1:27 p.m.

    There is a HUGE difference between campaign "reach" and consumer engagement. It's time that we had this conversation and not continue rushing down the path that plans and executes media by machine. EVERY marketer should be measuring the relative levels of true engagement and ROI that they are seeing in their media campaigns. As marketers and media providers we need to be accountable and transparent about just how effective the intersection between consumer, content and marketing message is. When did we all decided that "reach" whether it is hyper targeted or not is the only component required for media planning. In today's world...marketers need to make ALL media purveyors accountable.

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