Last week I mentioned that I was doing a talk called "The Dark Side Of Online Advertising." A number of people wrote to ask about the talk, so I thought I'd summarize it here today.
The talk focused on 10 not very encouraging stories about online advertising in 2016. Here they are with links when appropriate.
1. Click rates on display ads remain so low, they are not even rounding error.
Viewiership of display ads is almost as discouraging.
2. Ad fraud is completely out of control. The best anyone can do is guess at the amount of fraud
3. Facebook was found to be overstating some metrics by as much as 80%. (Since my talk on Thursday, more "irregularities" have been revealed.)
4. The Association of National Advertisers conducted an investigation that found that unethical agency media practices were "pervasive."
5. Several reports surfaced showing that ad tech middlemen were scraping as much as 70%
of online media budgets
6. Proctor& Gamble, the world's largest advertiser, said it was discontinuing its "precision targeted" Facebook advertising
after seeing sales drop 8% in a year
7. A study by the American Marketing Association showed that over 88% of marketing executives reported no tangible results
from social media marketing
8. It was reported that Google and Facebook were responsible for 72% of all the world's online ad revenue
(outside of China) -- the largest media duopoly in history.
9. 70% of media and marketing executives say they are dissatisfied with the state of online advertising
10. Over 400 million people worldwide were said to have ad blockers on their connected devices. This was called "the largest boycott of anything in human history."
Of course, none of this will change anything. Online advertising will continue to grow by double digits in 2017 because, as everyone knows, everything else is dead.
Or as a cynical bastard once said, marketers are from Mars.