Planning Software Market To Top $1.6B, According To A Plate Of Shrimp

Lately, I feel like the character Miller from one of my favorite all-time movies, the 1980s cult classic "Repo Man."

"A lot of people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidences and things. They don't realize that there's this, like, lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything," Miller tells Otto, the film's protagonist played by Emilio Estevez, adding: "I'll give you an example -- show you what I mean. Suppose you're thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly somebody will say like 'plate' or 'shrimp' or 'plate of shrimp' out of the blue -- no explanation. No point in looking for one either. It's all part of a cosmic unconsciousness."

That's how I'm starting to feel about MFAs, the "made-for-advertising" sites identified in the Association of National Advertisers' recently published programmatic transparency report as being the bane of $13 billion in wasted digital ad spending.

Suddenly, like a plate of shrimp, I'm seeing them everywhere. Including in my Google News alerts.

Specifically, I set up a Google alert for news about "media planning" and "media buying" to see what other people are publishing, and lo and behold I'm finding MFAs in the feed.

Two of them this morning caught my attention, because they were "press releases" about studies sizing the media-planning software marketplace. I call them "releases," because that's what the sites described them as, although they actually were only sales-lead generators. You know, click here to "download" a sample of the report, but when you get there, it's just collecting your email and phone number so someone can not-so-cold-call you to sell you the report.

One of them, called "Digital Journal," even looked like a news site, and actually had a headline on its press release sizing the media-planning software market at $1.601 billion by 2030, and that it would grow an average of 10.8% through that date.

The "release" even listed a number of reputable names supplying the planning software market, including:

  • ComScore
  • SAP
  • Centro, Inc. (which changed its name to Basis Technologies a couple of years ago)
  • Strata Company
  • Telmar  Information Services Corp
  • BluHorn LLC
  • NextMark, Inc.
  • Mediatool Holding Ag
  • Metallhandel GmbH

Interestingly, another site -- Laguna Now -- showed up as breaking news about a similar report in my Google alerts, published a similar list (also referring to Basis Technologies as Centro), but also adding a couple more suppliers to its list:

• Bionic(NextMark)
• remags
• HeyOrca
• Quintiq (Dassault Systemes)

For what it's worth, I did click-to-download summary reports so I can report on their ostensible findings, and heard back from a third party's sales team -- -- which provided me with a sample report that was nothing more than a sales brochure for what it said was included in the report.

I have no idea whether the actual reports have any merit, or if the publishers would call themselves an MFA, or even a plate of shrimp, but I'll tell you one thing for sure -- none of them would pass my attribution model.

Anyone still want the cocktail sauce?

2 comments about "Planning Software Market To Top $1.6B, According To A Plate Of Shrimp".
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  1. Jonathan Bouman from Oodle, September 14, 2023 at 3:33 p.m.

    "You do a lot of acid, Miller, back in the hippy days?" One of my all time favorite movies!

    "Were there pecan pies in the back?". "Yeah, we ate 'em".

  2. Anthony Loredo from Basis Technologies, September 14, 2023 at 8:18 p.m.

    Ah, this scam is still going on, and I'm sorry you almost fell for it. These folks have been publishing these reports for more than a decade - and you can tell by their use of very old ad tech company names. They publish DSP reports too. And it's always a different company name that is publishign these reports but I believe it's all the same entity. Now that you know, you will be able to spot them a lot easier.

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