Programs for tracking interactions with online display ads have seen their success rates questioned, as new research shows that only 14% of clicks are being tracked.

In tests conducted on a series of tracking tools across Europe, researchers discovered that certain publishers could be missing out on small fortunes due to the software behind their inventory.

Market analyst APR Fuel looked into the average recording of interactions across conventional display ads between January – March of this year, concluding that work must be done in revealing the genuine source of site traffic. 

The revelation comes at a critical time for the advertising industry, with more and more brands turning to online display and the accompanying software to measure their return on investment.

Under the radar

According to recent forecasts, spend on display advertising in the UK is set to rise 20% this year to £2.7 billion.

Whether this growth in market value will pay dividends for advertisers is another matter. APR Fuel has questioned if these groups are really seeing the true contribution from their display ads, and if publishers know how much traffic they’re driving.

Paul A. Jester, chief revenue officer at APR Fuel, believes there is plenty of room for improvement in ensuring interactions are being tracked at every opportunity. 

“Online ad tracking systems are in high demand at the moment and many suppliers appear to be doing their job correctly. 

“It’s a shame that some appear to be bringing down the average success rate and potentially tarnishing the reputation of their industry. No tech provider wants to be seen as a laughing stock.”

A full infographic displaying APR’s testing methodology and findings can be found here.

APR Fuel? Paul A. Jester? “Laughing stock”? Thankfully this one was formulated at PI Towers, based on a purely fictional study. Apologies to anyone that bought it – and happy April 1st!