February 13, 2017

Adtech's Massive Failure

There are days here at the West Coast Regional Campus of The Ad Contrarian Worldwide Global Headquarters that we just sit around and scratch our heads.

We think about how online advertisers are being penetrated in every possible orifice and we wonder why in the world they don't do something about it?

See if you agree with our logic.

Adtech has proven to be an utter disaster. Unless you are Google, Facebook, or WPP, adtech is a monstrosity that is stealing your money, harming your business, threatening your security, and alienating your customers.
  • If you're an advertiser, adtech middlemen are scraping 60-70% of your media dollars (WFA and The Guardian)
  • P&G says that "precision targeting," the great value proposition of adtech is actually harmful to their marketing efforts.
  • Adtech helps fraudsters steal...who knows?... anywhere from 2% to 90% of your media budget.
  • 90% of you are planning to review your programmatic contracts this year to get more transparency. Adtech is the mortal enemy of transparency.
  • If you're a quality online publisher, adtech is stealing money from you by following your valuable audience to the crappiest website they can be found on, and serving them ads there instead of on your site. 
  • If you're an advertiser, this means adtech is essentially following your customer to the bathroom in the basement of the luxury mall and trying to sell her your necklaces there (h/t Tom Goodwin.)
  • If you're an online publisher, adtech sees to it that you are constantly struggling to monetize your content while the duopoly (Google and Facebook) that create no content reap 72% of all online ad revenue outside China (Pivotal Research Group.)
  • If you are a consumer, adtech's relentless tracking and intrusive unremitting ad serving cause massive dissatisfaction with your user experience, and allow for all kinds of nasty prying and criminal activity in your personal and financial life.
  • Which is why 600 million devices (PageFair) are now reported to be loaded with ad blockers, constituting the largest boycott of anything in human history (h/t Doc Searls.)
Getting rid of adtech cannot immediately solve all problems. But it can be an enormous step toward  making online advertising significantly more effective, less corrupt, more secure, more respectable, and less despised by consumers, advertisers and publishers.

Bob Liodice, CEO of the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) recently said "marketers have to take their industry back."  I couldn't agree more.

So, Ms Advertiser, talk to me. Why don't you insist on a simple transparent buying process in which your agency buys directly from online publishers?

You'll know exactly where your advertising is going to run. Exactly whom you're buying from. Exactly what you're paying, and exactly what you're getting.

In what universe is the corrupt, incomprehensible, wasteful and dangerous world of adtech better than that?

My Favorite Tweet Of The Year


"Jaguar Land Rover has suspended all its digital advertising in the UK following last week's investigation by The Times which named the company among brands which unwittingly funded terror groups...The company said it was "very concerned" and that the online ads were an "unintended consequence of algorithm technology" used on some sites." Campaign Magazine 2/13/07

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