Here's some good news for marketers: The amount of advertising spend lost to online bot fraud is declining, according to a recent report from White Ops and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

The report was based on data from the digital campaigns of 50 ANA members. The researchers examined more than 2,400 campaigns that ran across more than 600,000 domains (search and social bot fraud were not part of the analysis).

Some $5.8 billion of ad spend is expected to be lost globally to online bots this year, down from $6.5 billion in 2017, when the researchers last examined the issue. That 11% decline is particularly noteworthy because digital ad spend increased 25% globally between 2017 and 2019.

The researchers say the success in combating online bot ad fraud is being driven by a range of factors, including efforts to dismantle bot networks, more purchasing of advertising via programmatic networks with built-in fraud prevention measures, and innovations such as ads.txt that reduce spoofing.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji