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How Marketers Can Regain Control in the Ad Industry

Ad Fraud
Ad Fraud

Over the past decade, tech giants like Google and Meta have taken control of the digital advertising market, causing a seismic shift in the industry. Because of this, marketers no longer feel in command and must rely on the whims of the platforms that have effectively become their prisons. In this piece, we’ll look at what marketers can do to get back in the driver’s seat and level the playing field in the advertising sector.

The Shift in Influence: Marketers vs. Tech Giants

Google and Meta’s meteoric rise has altered the entire advertising landscape, as they now receive 81% of all new advertising dollars spent worldwide. Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) CEO Sean Cunningham claims that technological behemoths like Google and Facebook have become more influential in the industry than traditional advertisers. As a result of this shift in power, multiscreen TV advertising and walled gardens are now held to different standards.

Lack of disclosure from Google and Meta is a major problem. They have loosened the definition of an advertisement by permitting shorter lengths, the absence of audio, and the elimination of differentiation between paid and user-generated content. This trend has been propelled by the buy-side market, which is always looking for ways to expand the reach of campaigns at a lower cost. Cunningham, on the other hand, thinks that marketers should get more respect.

The Relationship Between Lack of Information and Poor Ads

Ad budgets have been compromised, and reputations have been harmed, due to Google and Meta’s lack of transparency. Adalytics reports as of late have focused on the problems with YouTube ad placements and the privacy of children. These studies demonstrated that YouTube exposed children to adult content and that advertisers were exposed to wasted impressions on potentially harmful websites. Due to these actions, Google and advertisers are now subject to possible federal investigations and fines.

While many advertisers were hurt by this, they were hesitant to publicly express their anger because of their reliance on the tech giants. Cunningham warns of the advertising industry’s vulnerability in this climate of terror and dependence: “We’re somewhere between meth, heroin, and cocaine as an industry.”

Ad Fraud Is On The Rise.

The proliferation of ad fraud has been caused in part by lack of transparency and declining ad quality. The digital supply chain has grown more intricate as more parties begin to take a cut. Even more shocking is the fact that only 51% of advertising revenue actually reaches publishers, with the remaining 15% described as “missing.” A large portion of this lost money is attributable to ad fraud, which is estimated to cost businesses around the world $84 billion in 2023. This amount is anticipated by Juniper Research to exceed $170 billion in the next five years.

In comparison, global spending on print and audio media amounts to only $58 billion. Furthermore, the sum is comparable to the annual earnings of the NFL, NBA, and NHL put together. Ad fraud is a serious problem that has reached alarming proportions in the advertising industry and must be addressed by businesses.

Taking Charge: The Need for Openness and Responsibility

For marketers to reclaim power in the advertising sector, they must insist on full disclosure from their media partners. Advertisers should be able to see the composition of audience metrics, including the role of ad placement and inventory sources, as well as the full lifecycle of video ad units within a campaign.

Marketers should also demand temporary transparency by having media partners bring in an impartial third party. It also prevents the partners from “grading their own homework.” Marketers can monitor their advertising campaigns more closely and hold their media partners more responsible if they adhere to these guidelines.

Focusing on Combating Ad Fraud

Making the prevention of ad fraud a top priority is an important step toward regaining authority. According to Cunningham, ad fraud is a “must-fix conversation” for the entire ad-tech industry. The status quo must be challenged, and tech giants like Google and YouTube must be held to the same standards as everyone else.

Marketers should take part in conferences and other industry events to discuss ad fraud. Marketers can forge a united front for more open and accountable business practices by spreading awareness and pressing for change.

Future-Oriented Thinking

Marketers, trade groups, and tech giants must work together to reclaim the advertising industry. Ad fraud prevention efforts that emphasize openness and responsibility are urgently needed. Marketers must take a stand and hold tech giants to the same standards of openness and accountability as they would any other media partner.

It is essential for marketers to keep abreast of developments and trends in the industry. Marketers can recover command of their advertising efforts by accepting new realities and adopting innovative practices.

As a result of this shift in power, business owners in the advertising sector now feel helpless and at the mercy of the major technology companies. Marketers can get back in the driver’s seat and level the playing field by demanding transparency, tackling ad fraud, and making it a priority. In the advertising world, it is now up to marketers to take the reins of power.

See first source: Marketing Dive


What has caused a seismic shift in the digital advertising market in the past decade?

The rapid rise of tech giants like Google and Meta has caused a seismic shift in the digital advertising market. These companies now dominate the industry, receiving a significant share of advertising dollars worldwide.

How influential have Google and Meta become in the advertising industry?

Google and Meta have become more influential in the advertising industry than traditional advertisers, according to Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) CEO Sean Cunningham. They receive a large share of ad budgets and have redefined advertising standards.

Lack of disclosure from these tech giants has led to concerns about the definition of advertisements, including shorter lengths, audio absence, and the blurring of lines between paid and user-generated content. This trend has been driven by the desire to expand campaign reach at a lower cost.

How has lack of transparency affected ad quality and budgets?

Lack of transparency from Google and Meta has compromised ad budgets and damaged reputations. Reports have highlighted problems with ad placements on platforms like YouTube and privacy issues. This has led to potential federal investigations and fines.

Why is ad fraud on the rise, and what impact does it have on the industry?

Ad fraud has increased partly due to declining ad quality and lack of transparency. The complexity of the digital supply chain has contributed to the problem. Ad fraud is estimated to cost businesses billions of dollars and is a significant concern for the industry.

What steps can marketers take to regain control in the advertising sector?

Marketers can demand full disclosure from media partners, including audience metrics, ad placement details, and video ad lifecycle information. They should also consider third-party verification for transparency and hold partners accountable.

Why is combating ad fraud crucial for regaining authority in the industry?

Ad fraud prevention is essential for the ad-tech industry. Marketers must challenge the status quo, hold tech giants accountable, and work together to establish more open and accountable practices.

What is the role of future-oriented thinking in regaining control in the advertising industry?

Future-oriented thinking involves staying informed about industry developments and trends. Marketers must adapt to new realities and adopt innovative practices to regain control of their advertising efforts in a rapidly changing landscape.

Featured Image Credit: Jefferson Santos; Unsplash – Thank you!

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