“The State Of Digital Advertising Is (Still) Bad,” ran a headline in MediaPost in April. If you’re paying attention, you’re reminded of it on nearly a daily basis.
Truth No. 1, according to MediaPost writer Maarten Albarda, is that marketers have to accept that some percentage of their digital ad dollars will go to waste. Maybe they’ll reach nobody. Maybe they’ll pretend to reach someone. It’s likely they’ll reach the wrong people or otherwise go to waste.
And truth No. 2, Albarda continued, is that some crucial numbers are heading in the wrong direction. The ad platform Integral Ad Science reported in March that the U.S. is trending backwards on ad completion and time-in-view — while growing in ad fraud.
Then, adds MediaPost, there was the story in the Wall Street Journal in May about a specific instance of the lack of transparency in programmatic advertising. According to MediaPost: “This, perhaps, is the core problem. According to the Journal and other outlets, the newspaper publisher Gannett provided inaccurate data to advertisers over a stretch of more than nine months, producing a situation where buyers’ ads were placed on websites where they hadn’t intended them to run.
“The errors affected many instances of ad buying, an estimated billions of auctions, according to the Journal. And worse, the ad-tech companies involved in distributing the ads had enough information to identify the Gannett error, but they failed to connect the dots and alert the media company.”