Yet these totals far exceed the census count of both groups. According to the Feds, there were only 31 million 18-to-24-year-olds in the nation last year and a mere 45 million 25- to-34-year-olds.
While I have no doubt that the PR minions at Facebook will come up with some ridiculous explanation in an attempt to calm the fury that has been building as the platform continues to reveal that in one way or another it has been bilking advertisers for a long time, if you have spent any time around this business, you know that hyperbole is simply the lingua franca of ad tech.
More always seems to be better in the eyes of ad-tech companies -- so they tend to, uh, "stretch the truth" until someone calls them out. The latest exaggeration du jour is AI, with everyone rebranding their machine learning as artificial intelligence -- which it nearly always is not.
Overstating your reach is kinda just assumed as OK, since there are not enough Brian Wiesers out there going "Wait, what?" I have seen claims that exceed the population of entire countries. And sales always wants to push the highest possible number, since there is generally no way for buyers to independently verify them -- and well, bigger is always better, right?
I think overstating capabilities is really at the heart of the problems that P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard has ranted about. He and other brands are tired of being told they will get this while in the end they get that, compounded by ad tech's relentless claim to be the most accountable medium ever. Not to mention the "most transparent."
Yes, indeed, bullshit abounds in nearly every corner of the advertising world, from the agency media buying, production and bidding shenanigans outlined by the Association of National Advertisers (hi, Bob, haven't forgotten your screed) to Google's fake traffic, to platforms' apparent inability or unwillingness to avoid placing brands adjacent to inappropriate content.
You kind of expect up-and-comers to strain the bounds of truth here, and there since they are desperately trying to get traction and stay alive, but when Facebook and Google -- the two biggest beneficiaries of digital ad spend -- bullshit you, then what is a body to do?
Time for Chief Accountability Officers? Geeky folks who do nothing but question claims and ask for proof before buying, and then examine post-campaign reports and call out inconsistencies -- or at times, outright fraud? One wonders if there is enough bullshit out there to justify yet another level of management -- and how sad that it's even necessary to talk about such a possibility.