December 18, 2014

Ad Industry Is The Web's Lapdog

We continue our holiday reruns today with a piece from last spring.

One of the important responsibilities of the advertising industry is to be an "honest broker" between our clients and the media.

We have failed miserably.

While we have been aggressive about detailing the woes of traditional media -- the decline of the newspaper business; the problems of radio; the movement away from network television -- we have glossed over or completely ignored the shortcomings of the web as an advertising medium.

We have failed to educate our clients on the serious deficiencies related to web advertising:
It is clear why the ad industry has been complicit with online media in covering up these issues -- the web has become a gold mine for agencies.

WPP, the world's largest agency network, currently derives about 1/3 of its revenue of $16 billion from digital work and is aiming for 45% to come from the web within a few years.

Not only is income from digital sources rising, smart agencies have discovered how to squeeze more profit from this income than from traditional advertising.

For one thing, online work is never done. A website is never finished, a social media or content program always needs feeding, and display advertising always needs optimizing. If you're charging by the hour -- and your profit is built into your hourly rate -- more work always means more profit.

But when you're doing traditional work and you're on a monthly retainer or fee, more work means less profit.

The ad industry has become the web's lapdog -- exaggerating the effectiveness of social media marketing, ignoring the abominable click-through rates of "interactive" advertising, glossing over the fraud and corruption, and becoming a de facto sales arm for the online ad industry.

Self-interest has come into conflict with responsibility.

Guess what's winning?


Advertising Agency said...

As a Chicago advertising agency , we would say that the percentage of videos seen is much better than what you claim, at least since the implementation of auto play videos on social media.

bob hoffman said...

I don't "claim" anything. I'm presenting what The New York Times reported. Argue with them.

Which one are you? said...

'Chicago advertising agency' does sound 1000 times more credible than 'Integraphix'. But, still, care to back up what you 'would say' with anything other than a poorly thought out opinion?

Samuel Scott said...

This is comment is spam -- the author is trying to get a link with specific anchor-text ("Chicago advertising agency") in order to try to rank more highly in Google search for that phrase. I can explain how this works further, if people want.