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2017 State of Digital Publishers’ Fight Against Non-Human Traffic: To Block NHT or Not??

December 6, 2016

According to the IAB, digital fraud costs advertisers $8.2 billion each year. Some
suspect there’s little incentive to fight it, as so many players benefit from it in one way
or another. Some even suspect that publishers have a hand at it, as bot traffic is often a
result of purchasing traffic. Others, including notable security expert Dr. Augustine Fou
say that fraud is inevitable, since there will always be “hackers who are very advanced
in the use of technology and who don’t play by the normal rules of engagement.” If
the $8.2 billion sum is correct, fraudsters are highly motivated to ensure their lucrative
businesses succeed.

This report analyzes the findings of a survey, carried out by the 614 Group, including 40 of the comScore 250 publishers, including AccuWeather, A&E Networks, Hulu, Thomson Reuters and Univision, about their attitudes and experiences with NHT, both as an internal issue and as a discussion point with clients considering direct buys of their inventory.

Key findings include:

  • Most publishers (77 percent) are victims of NHT; yet only 38 percent purchase traffic, meaning NHT is getting onto their sites through other means of no fault to the publisher
  • The cost of fraud is greater than the NHT that arrives on a publisher’s site
  • 70 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 the publishers take that approach
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