Ad-blocking might get more headlines, but the immediate concern facing the marketing and advertising industry is ad fraud.
Speaking at Cannes Lion 2016, marketing veteran Jordan Bitterman explained why ad fraud is the more pressing issue:
“I think ad fraud is a much larger short-term issue. Ad blocking is a very important issue for us to tackle as an industry, but it’s more long-term. What I mean by that is right now with ad fraud if bots are seeing impressions—and so therefore not a person—we’ve got a problem immediately. We’ve got a problem where clients might be spending dollars that aren’t reaching people. That’s a short-term issue, and it’s a big one that needs to be solved,” Bitterman says.
Fraud means wasted ad budgets, while the harms from ad-blocking aren’t so immediate.
“On the ad-blocking front, the reason why it’s not a short-term issue is because if someone’s blocking an ad, that ad’s not getting served, and so clients aren’t losing out on their dollars,” Bitterman explains. “The reason why it’s a long-term issue is because as an industry we have to get our act together. We have to make sure that we’re delivering messages to people either through the use of data or content or just better creative in environments that they want to see it. If not, we’re messing with the whole ecosystem.”
In April, Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak revealed that 85 percent of online ad dollars go to either Google or Facebook, leaving all other players battling for only 15 percent of budgets. That shift to the major players is a flight to safety, Bitterman says. With rampant fraud and blocking going on, advertisers are being careful with their money.
If that’s the case, then solving the problems of ad fraud and ad-blocking would be a win for the entire industry.
Watch the full interview with Bitterman below (used with permission from Beet.tv)