- More than one-fifth of U.K. brands, or 22%, plan to decrease their spending on programmatic advertising due to concerns over cost and performance, according to a QueryClick survey reported on by The Drum. Forty-one percent of respondents said they've lost trust in the buying method because of widespread ad fraud.
- Just 40% of the 150 marketing executives surveyed said they believe their digital ads were seen by people in 2017, while 7% thought the proportion viewed by humans versus bots was at least 80%.
- Among the brands planning to decrease programmatic ad spend, 46% said their shift is driven by a lack of alternative buying options, 41% said it's due to a lack of pricing transparency and 39% blamed concern over where their ads would be placed.
QueryClick's latest survey highlights marketers' ongoing concern with brand safety and the lack of control they feel with automated ad buying. Among online ad buyers, 80% expressed worry that their ads would appear next to terrorist or extremist content if they kept using their current programmatic processes. In 2017, U.S. brands like Chase and P&G reduced their programmatic spending with little to no impact on ROI, highlighting the potential inefficiencies in the ad buying method.
A recent study by 16 programmatic publishers and the platforms Google, Amobee and Quantcast highlighted the problem of video and display advertising fraud. Across 26 domains, video callouts were overstated by 57x, totaling about 700 million counterfeit callouts each day, and display callouts were overstated by 4x of the available inventory, totaling billions of counterfeit callouts per day. Google estimates that publishers lose $1.27 billion annually because of ad fraud.
Despite marketers' concerns over programmatic, marketers aren't ditching the method entirely, likely because of its automated and efficient nature. Programmatic ad sales were expected to reach $57.5 billion in 2017 and are growing 21% annually, according to research by Publicis Groupe Zenith. By 2019, about two-thirds of all digital display ads will be programmatic, totaling an estimated $84.9 billion.
Adobe recently launched the largest cross-media campaign implemented strictly using a programmatic platform. The "Experience Business" campaign is purchased programmatically through the Adobe Advertising Cloud, with each buy combining real-time bidding and non-guaranteed direct buys using the premium publisher's marketplace. This approach is letting Adobe target audiences by analyzing audience behaviors and online actions in order to provide a relevant, personalized content.