Digital ad fraud losses worldwide 2018-2022

It was estimated that the costs related to digital advertising fraud worldwide would grow exponentially within the four years between 2018 and 2022, from 19 billion to 44 billion U.S. dollars. In the United States, the costs incurred due to digital ad fraud were believed to reach 11 billion U.S dollars in 2018. With the growing digitization of processes, including those in advertising, comes a growing risk of fraud. Today when more and more ads are traded programmatically, fraud detection processes are not yet fully developed, and so the bulk of advertising ends up being served to bots instead of potential customers.

Fraud in advertising – costs and concerns

On the one hand, programmatic advertising is very convenient, owing to the automation of buying and selling processes of online ads. However, such systems can increase the likelihood of scams. In early 2017, close to 40 percent of ad impressions served programmatically in the United States were fraudulent. Japan recorded the highest programmatic ad fraud rates at that time. Unsurprisingly, nearly a quarter of global marketers expressed high concerns about ad fraud, with a further 49 percent ebing apprehensive about the issue. Until effective tracking tools and stricter regulations on online ad publishing are put in place, ad fraud will remain a significant problem for advertisers and media buyers.

Estimated cost of digital ad fraud worldwide in 2018 and 2022

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Release date

September 2017



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Statistics on "Programmatic advertising"

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