Bot blindness plagues UK advertisers

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At the end of 2013, Project Sunblock revealed that 7.78 billion display ad impressions are served up on websites that could damage a brand’s reputation. Furthermore, 38% of UK advertisers did not know where their content was being displayed online and almost two-thirds (62%) of senior marketers have no access to real-time analytics.

The result? £2.4 billion (US$3.9 billion) is being spent each year on display ads that could appear anywhere online.

Now, Project Sunblock has released new data that reveals 78% of UK advertisers have no insight into how many of their ad impressions are fraudulent. Andrew Goode, COO at Project Sunblock was surprised that, despite awareness of bots and the problems they can cause, few advertisers were taking steps against them.

The survey of 268 senior marketing decision makers with UK brands found that 1 in 5 had no process in place to prevent them falling victim to fraud. Yet, those respondents estimated that bot traffic was costing them between £10-£15,000 (US$17-25,000) each year.

“Botnets are already surprisingly sophisticated and will only become more potent in time,” said Goode. “There are many pieces of malware used to infect PCs which are used to create fake traffic and then sold on to publishers through ad exchanges, and some of the bots are almost indestructible.”



Kristina Knight is a freelance writer based in Ohio, United States. She began her career in radio and television broadcasting, focusing her energies on health and business reporting. After six years in the industry, Kristina branched out on her own. Since 2001, her articles have appeared in Family Delegate, Credit Union Business, and with Threshold Media.