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Marketer Trade Group Report Shows Ad Spending ‘Rife With Waste’

The Association of National Advertisers recommends marketers take a more active role in media buying

By Megan Graham June 19, 2023 at 6:00 am ET

At least 23% of the $88 billion spent annually by marketers on automated digital ad buying, or programmatic advertising, on the open web is a waste, according to a report from the Association of National Advertisers.

The report from the ANA, a trade association whose members include Coca-Cola, Walmart and McDonald’s, says advertisers often focus more on the cost of advertising than value, leading to poor ad placements. Those placements include so-called “made for advertising” sites with low-quality content that the ANA said could include fake news, conspiracy theories and spam links, and that use tactics such as intrusive ads or autoplay videos to maximize ad revenue for site owners. The report found that 15% of advertiser spending went to such sites.

The report analyzed $123 million in spending from 21 advertisers on open-web programmatic advertising, or automated digital-ad buying online outside of social-media platforms. The advertisers weren’t named by the organization. The report examined detailed records of ad impressions, obtained by tech vendors.


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