New figures released today suggest that ad fraud will cost brands $16.4 billion globally this year, and that nearly 20 percent of total digital ad spend was wasted in 2016.
So-called invalid traffic, where bots rather than humans view or click on adverts on websites, was estimated to cost advertisers $12.5 billion in 2016 by ad verification company Adloox.
However, today's figures from agency group The&Partnership estimates the cost will increase by almost $4 billion this year. It worked with Adloox to look at 200 billion "bid requests," a method by which online publishers sell advertising inventory, across 2016. It also examined ad "calls", when a publisher automatically contacts its ad server to "serve" or show an ad on its website, and ad impressions – the number of times an ad is displayed or viewed on a web page.