On June 17th, we published a piece called The $7.5 Billion Ad Swindle. It was about the massive fraud that is being perpetrated on advertisers by criminality within the online advertising industry.
A new report by Solve Media indicates that the fraud is growing at an alarming rate. According to an Adweek piece last week, in just 3 months the size of the fraud has jumped to about $9.5 billion this year (by the way, kudos to Mike Shields of Adweek who won't let this story go away.)
In the first quarter of 2013, Solve reports that the amount of suspicious web advertising traffic has risen from 43% to 46%. That means that 46% of the viewership reported by websites seems to be fraudulent. It is not people. It is computer programs (bots) pretending to be people to drive up the numbers and screw advertisers out of billions of dollars.
Not only that, suspicious advertising traffic has also started to rear its ugly head big time on mobile sites. Over 1/3 of mobile traffic during this time period was suspicious.
As the problem becomes more severe, the silence from online publishers, ad networks, and agencies remains deafening.
Just like 15 years ago when everybody was soaking the dot-com clowns for all they were worth, nobody wants to kill the golden goose. When corporate management finally figures out how their money is being pissed away, CMO heads will roll and agencies will be fired.
Until then, nobody seems to care that half of online ad money is being stolen by con men and swindlers. The insane naivete and cluelessness that has permeated the whole online advertising enterprise since its inception is still shocking.
Now it has taken a new form. Not only are marketers ignoring the awful truth about the ineffectiveness of online advertising, they are turning a blind eye to the fact that they are being skinned alive by crooks and their willfully corrupt accomplices in the ad world.
And if you think the fraud in the U.S, is bad, get a look at these numbers from some other countries. According to Solve...
- 92% of web traffic in China is suspicious
- 80% of Venezuela's web traffic is suspicious
- 77% of web traffic in the Ukraine is suspicious
- In Singapore 86% of mobile traffic is suspicious
Fortunately for the thieves, charlatans, and hustlers, nobody seems to give a shit.