Leading Agency Says Pfffft to Digital Ads

Generic-GroupM-Article-Image_0A leading global media agency has come out publicly dismissing the effectiveness of investing in digital media campaigns. Wow.

“Last week, Group M released a report called ‘Interaction 2016’, which got plenty of attention here on MediaPost,” writes Maarten Albarda. “In it, GroupM shares a laundry list of issues with digital media that we have been debating here at the Online Spin and elsewhere for a very long time.

“Group M shares global numbers it collected concerning ad blocking, fraud, viewability and a whole range of related issues. And with regards to the growing budget share of digital media, Group M questions ‘the effectiveness of these investments,’” Albarda continues.

That’s huge.

“Here is one of the world’s leading media agency holding companies effectively telling us that the massive and growing digital investment is largely not effective,” says Albarda.

Among the suggestions in the report:

  • Not to bother with 30-second online video spots, because viewability verification is so sketchy; and
  • Realize that at least 30% of your target audience is using ad blocking software.

The report, Albarda notes, is “brutal in its clarity and honesty” but lacks the “now what?” answer that brands are searching for. The solution, according to Albarda, is tighter industry control.

“This is an industry issue that needs to be addressed by a coalition that will set out not guidelines or recommendations, but lays down laws and rules, and has teeth to police and implement them,” he advocates.

He suggests that the industry might put its considerable technical expertise to work to police online advertising, rather than using it to create more of the untenable user experience it helped to create. That’s a good start.

Here’s another thought: Why not create content that users are willing to pay for? No policing of the industry required there; you either get that, or you don’t.