Programmatic Advertising Can Be A Giant Waste of Money

Not long ago, if you wanted to buy banner ads, you basically had to buy them directly from the sites you wanted to advertise on. This was typically done through a broker of some sort. You would place an order for a certain number of impressions at a certain price and your order would be filled. Your ad would then run on the sites and would be seen by real human people who may or may not click and buy from you. But it was a fair exchange.

Fast forward to the invention of programmatic ad buying. This is where you or your marketing agency buys ad impressions based on behavior, demographics, content, geography etc., all done via online software. Once you place your buy, the computer program goes out into the world wide web and a network of websites and bids on available ad space that will be seen by your target audience. Sounds easy. Sounds cool. Sounds efficient. Only one problem, if your not careful, you could easily get scammed.

How Bots Can Scam Your Advertising Dollars

“Hasn’t Procter and Gamble chief digital office Marc Pritchard been on a crusade, exhorting advertisers to take better control over where their digital ads are running? Considering that some P&G ads were found to be running on fake sites in BuzzFeed’s story, it seems like nothing much has changed.”

So, how do you get scammed when you run programmatic advertising? I’ll give you the readers digest version: Basically millions, maybe billions of bots scour the web and visit websites. The bots emulate human behavior and even click on banner ads all in an effort to make it look as if a website has more traffic than it actually does so that they can sell more advertising to people like you and I that will never be seen by anyone except a stupid bot.

The lesson here is that as an advertiser or agency, you must must must have safeguards in place to  identify and prevent ad fraud. If you don’t you are likely wasting your money.

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