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BizReport : Internet : January 31, 2014

Botnets to steal $11.6 billion from advertising budgets in 2014

Billions of dollars in advertising budgets could be wasted in 2014 due to the proliferation of botnets, according to new survey findings from Solve Media.

by Helen Leggatt

The amount of wasted advertising dollars is expected to rise 22% from 2013, according to Solve Media, totaling a whopping $11.6 billion. Almost 6 in 10 (59%) of the 7,500 agency media buyers responding to the survey said bot traffic negatively affects online campaign performance and 41% said it leads to inefficiencies and steals advertising budgets.

Solve Media CEO, Ari Jacoby, believes the problem will get worse before it gets better but he was encouraged by a 125% year-on-year increase in the number of online publishers that plan to implement anti-bot solutions in 2014 (34%).

"We were very surprised by these results," Jacoby said. "It indicates that the community is not only taking notice, but it's beginning to take action."

According to Solve Media's Q3 2013 report, more than half (51%) of all Internet traffic in the U.S. was fraudulent, a rise of 8% on Q2 2013 and the first time that Solve's figures have exceeded 50% and the amount of traffic generated by humans.

Proving that audiences are human is a vital criteria for marketers investing budgets in attracting real eyeballs. As Jacoby previously commented, "a bot can't buy your products or read your articles".

A warning to advertisers, ad networks and publishers has recently been issued by media security platform MdotLabs regarding an impression fraud threat from the Athena botnet.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: advertising, botnet fraud, budget waste

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