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January 21, 2016
The War on Bots: AdLand Isn't Doing So Well
 
We've been following the efforts of the ANA and White Ops since the two organizations paired up on this joint venture to figure out how to rid the bots from the digital playground that AdLand is becoming increasingly fond of.

See the first part here.

See the follow-up here.

Surprisingly, it's been a year already since they launched their study. How is AdLand combating the Bot problem?

In short: Not well.

In the official press release that the ANA sent out, the findings of their yearlong study showed that there was no significant decrease in the effectiveness and use of bots in programmatic and digital advertising. In fact, due to the lack of change and with agencies "doubling down" on digital media, the two companies agree that AdLand could lose up to $7.2 billion dollars in spending to bots.

That’s not a number brands would like to hear.

In fact, a couple of the numbers and findings are troubling or disconcerting.

The first, which wasn't too surprising to us, was that programmatic video ads were getting more bots than programmatic displays ads. This could be attributed to the point that more brands are engaging in video and are still trying to figure it out.

The second and most surprising to us was that the number of $7.2 billion only went up slightly from the projected $6.6 billion. True, brands losing a couple billion dollars is not a laughing matter, and in some cases, frontal humor is definitely warranted.

Finally, the part that surprised us the most was that the more specific the campaign, the more bots were found. As we champion close, targeted campaigns, it is disheartening to see that targeted campaigns showed a higher percentage of bots.

Something needs to change. The report is good, and now the only thing left is to solve the problem.

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Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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