In addition, the survey by The 614 Group and Distil Networks, found that 74% of publishers reported that traffic quality issues are part of pre-sales discussions, and 68% said they have received requests for information (RFIs) with acceptable non-human traffic (NHT) thresholds. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) projected that digital fraud costs advertisers $8.2 billion each year, due to the proliferation of NHT.
Publishers participating in the survey include AccuWeather, A&E Networks, Hulu, Thomson Reuters, and Univision. They shared their attitudes and experiences with NHT, both as an internal issue and as a discussion point with clients considering direct buys of their inventory.
“Ad agencies will stop paying publishers for NHT, yet only one-third of publishers are blocking nefarious NHT proactively,” Rami Essaid, co-founder and CEO of Distil Networks, said in a statement. “Monitoring fraud post-campaign isn’t the answer. Bot operators, and the NHT they generate, are only becoming more sophisticated," Essaid said.
Among the survey’s key findings:
--Most publishers (77%) are victims of NHT; yet only 38% purchase traffic, which suggests that NHT is getting onto their sites through other means—through no fault of the publisher.
--The cost of fraud is greater than the NHT that lands on a publisher’s site. It should also include consideration of the ad units purchased by advertisers in the open ad exchanges like synthetic user profiles created by “cookied bots.”
--Publishers need to draw a connection between the $8.2 billion lost to fraud and campaign-level damage. Nearly 70% of publishers believe it’s possible to calculate the ROI of effective anti-NHT efforts on a per-campaign and per-client basis.
--Seventy percent of publishers believe it’s possible to proactively block NHT before a page loads and before cookies are set, yet less than one-third of publishers take that approach.