Poor ad quality, fraud and waste are top-of-mind issues for marketers. Low-quality ads cost U.S. marketers $7.4 billion last year, according to a new report from Forrester. The report said programmatic media and video are the primary causes of ad fraud spending “wastage.”
The research suggests the problem will grow to $10.9 billion by 2021 if steps are not taken to address it.
The Forrester report described a digital advertising supply chain “riddled with problems, most directly connected to the lack of transparency in ad tech. The result is wasted time, effort, and money, and lackluster ROI.”
Notably, it stated: “The end of digital media’s wild days will be good news for premium publishers that invest in their content, in growing their quality audiences, and in the ad tech partnerships that facilitate honest brokerage of their valuable inventory. The most desirable marketers with the biggest budgets are fed up, and rightly so. They want standards that apply to all digital media, like in television and print.”
Taking fraud and a lack of viewability into account, marketers are spending, but also wasting billions on digital advertising. The lack of transparency in ad tech only adds to marketers’ challenges.
Forrester noted that the speed and complexity of programmatic buying render the few tools that marketers have to manage the process “useless.”
Worst of all, the report suggested that until standards are set, the digital advertising pipeline will remain polluted. If marketers think they bought 100 impressions for $100, “think again.” The true cost was closer to “double” the original number.
While agencies and trade associations have taken up viewability ad nauseam in the last few years, Forrester suggests even measuring viewability remains a challenge because standards vary.
The Media Rating Council established a benchmark and accredited 13 vendors for display measurement, but their findings “can vary widely,” the report said. For example, media agency GroupM has a much stricter standard. As one ad-tech executive noted in the report: “When you take away the non-viewable ads, there’s not much left.”