The ANA Launches Industry Study of Advertising Bot Fraud

The ANA Launches Industry Study of Advertising Bot Fraud
ANA and White Ops form "The Marketers’ Coalition" to study and reduce advertising bot fraud

NEW YORK (July 14, 2014) – The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) and online fraud detection firm White Ops have launched "The Marketers’ Coalition," a joint research initiative to determine the level of bot fraud occurring across the digital advertising industry. The coalition’s objective is to provide actionable data and insights that marketers can use to reduce bot fraud and improve marketing ROI.

Bot fraud refers to sites with phony traffic that collect payments from advertisers through the intermediaries who aggregate space across many sites and resell that space. This ANA/White Ops initiative actively responds to serious breakdowns in the marketing supply chain. For some marketers, it is estimated that 25 to 50 percent of money spent on digital advertising is wasted through “bot fraud,” which affects display, video, mobile and social.

The Marketers’ Coalition brings together some of the world’s most recognizable brands from 30 companies across the automotive, consumer products, financial, hospitality, pharmaceutical, retail, spirits, technology, and travel industries. This pilot study will assess campaigns from national marketers and will kick off next month. Results are expected by mid-October. During the one-month study, each participant’s advertising will be tagged to help identify fraud. At the conclusion of the study, each participant will be given a customized confidential report providing overall fraud rates, fraud by platform (desktop, mobile), format (display, video), channel (publisher, network, exchange) and other relevant findings.

“Bot fraud costs marketers billions of dollars annually. Marketers must be proactive to fully understand the issue and identify solutions," said Bill Duggan, ANA, Group EVP. He added: “These results will create urgency for all legitimate players in the ecosystem to work together to eliminate bots and botnets that target unsuspecting advertisers.”

The study results will be aggregated and made available to all participants and the wider industry. This will allow individual participants to benchmark their specific findings against the industry, leading to specific knowledge on ad budget waste and intelligence that allows for stronger negotiations and media mix optimization. Aggregated results and recommendations will be shared with the industry in the fourth quarter.

Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the ANA commented: “The findings will be integrated into a broad ecosystem effort to minimize fraud. This ongoing effort is jointly led by the IAB, the 4A's and the ANA, and is focused on creating a trustworthy digital supply chain.”

“The advertising industry is under siege,” said White Ops CEO Michael J. J. Tiffany. “While some would say bot traffic is a ‘cost of doing business’ or a ‘victimless crime,’ they could not be more wrong. Corrupt data on campaign targeting and effectiveness harms brands and businesses, and the money made by criminals funds an underground that perpetrates many other forms of crime. Criminals have further benefited from confusion and uncertainty in scoping the problem. This concerted effort is a way to normalize the data, establish better intelligence, and present a unified front.”

About the ANA
The ANA (Association of National Advertisers)'s mission is to drive growth for marketing professionals, for brands and businesses, and for the industry. Growth is foundational for all participants in the ecosystem. The ANA seeks to align those interests by leveraging the 12-point ANA Masters Circle agenda, which has been endorsed and embraced by the ANA Board of Directors and the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA's membership consists of more than 1,600 domestic and international companies, including more than 1,000 client-side marketers and nonprofit fundraisers and 600 marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). Collectively, ANA member companies represent 20,000 brands, engage 50,000 industry professionals, and invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.

About White Ops
White Ops is a pioneer in the detection of, and defense against, bots and malware on the web. White Ops provides advertisers and others with the tools they need to decrease fraud, raise their bottom lines and ensure the success of their online campaigns and enterprises. To detect automated browsers and malware-infected browsers, White Ops deploys thousands of dynamic browser tests that constantly evolve over time to withstand reverse engineering. This technology allows White Ops to differentiate, with precision, between bot and human interaction in online advertising and publishing, enterprise networks, e-commerce transactions, financial systems and more, allowing clients to remove and prevent unwanted traffic and activity. By working with clients to cut off sources of bad traffic, White Ops makes bot and malware activity unprofitable and unsustainable for the cyber criminals who pursue it: an economic strategy that will eventually eradicate this type of cyber-crime. For more information, visit www.whiteops.com