You know times are tough for digital advertising when America’s largest advertiser, Procter & Gamble, cuts a significant portion of its digital ad spend, and still continues to grow sales. Spend was  believed to be in the region of US$140m in April-June 2017, but Jon R. Moeller, chief financial officer of Procter & Gamble, noted that it was slashed where it was “ineffective”. Disconcerting for the advertising industry, these were areas where P&G believed its ads were served to bots instead of humans, and at places where the brand’s values were not reflected. While the latter might be a jibe at YouTube, where advertising was found to be served on content of a dubious nature, the problem with bots should have everyone concerned. Digital ad fraud is a major dilemma, with the world’s largest advertising agency, WPP, stating it could account for as much as US$16.4bn in 2017. Deceptive advertising networks form a big part of this, selling ad space on fake sites with click bots driving tra...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.