Just in time for Halloween, there's a nightmare developing for the online ad industry. Unless I'm mistaken, the clown act that is digital advertising is headed for a train wreck.
Up until now they have thrived on the stupidity and gullibility of marketers, and the venality of agencies. Marketers couldn't guzzle the swill fast enough and agencies couldn't cash the checks fast enough.
But I have a feeling the big con may be coming to an end.
First, some background.
According to published reports, online advertising fraud and corruption are rampant. It is generally thought that there is fraud associated with between 30 and 50% of online ads.
But corruption and theft haven't dampened the hunger for this stuff one bit among the dimwits in the marketing world. They've been throwing more stupid money at online advertising every year. It's been growing at double digits.
Now, you might ask yourself why sensible people would continue to do this when they know that half their money is being stolen? The answer is, sensible people wouldn't do it. It takes a CMO to be this clueless and irresponsible.
But if I'm not mistaken, something big is about to happen.
Kraft, one of the world's largest advertisers, announced yesterday that they are rejecting 75 to 85% of the online impressions they are being offered. Kraft's director of data, content and media said...
"Think about what this means for us as an industry. When we're rejecting 75% to 85% of the impressions available, that's a problem."Ya think?
"...75% to 85% is either deemed to be fraudulent, unsafe or non-viewable or unknown"According to Ad Age...
"Kraft only dug into this analysis last month..."Here's what I want to know: How the fuck can a company that spends $35.9 million a year on online advertising have waited until last month to do an analysis? Everyone who doesn't have his head up his ass knows that online advertising is a corrupt freak show of cosmic proportions.
Now that the dam has broken with a huge advertiser like Kraft, every CEO and CFO that isn't brain dead will start to ask questions about online spending -- "Are we buying the phantom impressions that Kraft is rejecting?"
CMOs and their agencies are going to be working nights and weekends hysterically throwing together misleading Powerpoint decks to save their asses.
And when they're not doing that, they'll be busy throwing each other under the bus.
This could turn into the most entertaining shit show in years.
By The Way...
...you know those people who say "I hate to say I told you so?" I'm not one of them.