Global advertising spending will grow 22.5% to $763.2 billion this year, excluding U.S. political ad spending, according to the latest forecast from GroupM, which houses the media-buying agencies and data operations of ad giant WPP PLC. Digital advertising will account for 64.4% of total advertising in 2021, GroupM said, up from 60.5% of the total in 2020 and 52.1% in 2019 but 70% of advertising dollars spent on online programmatic advertising never touch a human being.
When I analyze clients’ online advertising, I usually find rampant fraud, and even when there are clicks, it’s accompanied by high bounce rates. Media Post recently said, “tracking and targeting are all over the place as data availability fluctuates. And consumers, rather than entering search words, use many channels to get information about products before getting close to hitting “buy.”
Only someone stupid would keep increasing an online ad budget when so much money is lost. Bob Hoffman recently wrote in his newsletter, “according to the ANA and PwC, 70% of advertising dollars spent on online programmatic advertising never touch a human being. Of $200 billion in annual programmatic ad spend, $140 billion disappears in “ad fees, fraud, non-viewable impressions, non-brand-safe placements, and unknown allocations” (by “unknown allocations,” you can read “shit that no one can figure out.”)”
I’m not saying all online advertising is terrible, but when 70% of your budget is being eaten by fraud, and you increase the spending, your elevator is not running to the top.
Next time you’re tempted to go off on how people are desirous of “more relevant advertising” or more “personalized” advertising or are wanting to “join the conversation” or want to “have a relationship” because of your “brand purpose” or “co-create” or join your “tribe” or engage with your “content,” or that tracking has made advertising “more relevant, more timely and more likable” please remember who you are…Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian
When the so-called social media experts tried to tell us that “we have to be on social media” I kept telling people they were only building their own personal brands. Facebook continues to lie and post inaccurate information yet most advertisers still line up to throw money at them. In the meantime, as more people watch TV, advertisers continue to use the same old ads instead of understanding that increased frequency actually leads to a decline in metrics.
Why is all this happening?
1ne: At a basic level there is a lack of talent within the industry both on the agency and client-side.
2wo: Too many inexperienced people. Boomers have retired in record numbers and that’s a lot of years of experience that is lost.
3hree: Agencies are interested in ad dollars and are not being held accountable. More CPG companies are bringing agency work in house.
4our: Believe the hype not the facts
Some advertisers are getting it right and understand where consumers are making decisions but too many others are wasting millions of dollars in ineffective ads with poor metrics. Insanity.