Advertisers are unknowingly wasting 11.5% of their budgets by serving ads to users with ad blockers installed.

Fraudlogix study suggests that ad blockers are not perfect…and when they fail, advertisers pay the price.

A recent study by Fraudlogix uncovered that advertisers unknowingly waste an average of 11.5% of their budgets (desktop) and 3% (mobile) serving ads to users who have ad blockers installed. Those impressions generate click through rates that are 11x lower than “regular” traffic.


Through a JavaScript pixel that serves inside of an ad tag each time an ad impression is won in the bid stream, Fraudlogix monitors traffic on over 1 billion unique users monthly, across 300 million URLs and apps.

Over a one-week period, Fraudlogix analysed 2.56 billion impressions and served an invisible “dummy ad” alongside each impression to see if the “dummy ad” would get blocked, indicating that an ad blocker was installed on the user’s device. This ad block detection method is in line with the one outlined by the IAB.
The results showed that this indeed was occurring in 11.5% of desktop and 3%
of mobile traffic.


Date range: 5/14/2020 – 5/20/2020

Total impressions analysed: 2,561,912,038

Total mobile impressions:  1,062,273,944
Mobile impressions with ad blockers enabled: 32,744,432 (3.1%)

Total desktop impressions:  1,417,593,664
Desktop impressions with ad blockers enabled: 163,023,271 (11.5%)

Total tablet impressions: 82,044,430
Tablet impressions with ad blockers enabled: 1,575,253 (1.92%)


The research suggests that in certain instances ad blockers are not recognizing the ad tag and therefore allow it to execute, sending the user’s data into the bid stream. When the advertiser wins the bid and tries serving the ad, the ad blocker then recognizes the ad and blocks it.

In other cases, it appears the ad blocker even allows the ad to serve, but when the user clicks on it, the ad blocker forcefully closes the new tab or window of the landing page. Below is a video showing one of these scenarios captured.



Looking at a separate sample of 45,894,457 ad impressions, Fraudlogix conducted a post-bid analysis on every impression that was found to have ad blocker installed. Results showed that click through rates on the ad blocker impressions were 11X lower than on the impressions without it.


After conducting the post- bid analysis (as described above), Fraudlogix found that certain IPs had an extremely high propensity of being associated with ad blockers – meaning that they witnessed ad blockers enabled on most of the impressions served to those IPs (via the same method outlined above).

An additional study was then conducted on 2,517 advertiser campaigns that ran during a 5 day period, totalling 150,240,099 ad impressions, and comparisons were done on the click through rates and costs per conversion (per sale, lead, etc.) that resulted from ads served to the “ad blocker IPs” compared to the “non-ad blocker IPs”.

The results indicated that the advertiser’s cost per conversion was roughly three times higher when serving ads to IPs that have an elevated propensity of being associated with users who have ad blockers enabled vs. those who do not. See results below.


Ad Blocker Status

Cost Per Click

Cost Per Conversion

No Adblocker

$ 0.70

$ 10.19

Medium Ad Blocker Propensity

$ 1.26

$ 17.54

High Ad Blocker Propensity

$ 1.53

$ 28.69

Extreme Ad Blocker Propensity

$ 1.76

$ 30.22