I’ve been having a pop at digital advertising recently.

About how ad blocking is the fault of all of us that create online advertising.

No one really took me to task over this. And so I thought I’d go a step further.

And see what happens.

These ten statements represent what I think about the state of digital advertising, right now. As ever these  are strong opinions lightly held. Please set me straight if you think any or all of them are bullshit.

1. The digital inventory is an ecosystem driven by what’s possible not what’s acceptable. It’s the sub-prime lending division of the advertising industry.

2. If digital advertising is to survive it needs to change the way it behaves. Either that or we need a massive re-education programme about the role of advertising in supporting and paying for free content.

3. Too much creative effort is being spent making up for the deficiencies of digital advertising rather than actually communicating. This ludicrous state of affairs is most notable in tragic efforts to overcoming skipping.

4. There is and should be no innate relationship between amount of time spent in a particular medium and the division of the ad budget. Budget should go to the places that work not the places in which people simply spend time.

5. The fact that many purchase journeys take place entirely or substantially online is a challenge more than an opportunity. It’s entirely possible that people are less accessible for advertisers online than they are offline.

6. Advertising’s primary job is to drive brand optimisation, so that brands are already favoured by consumers by the time the online purchase journey takes place. If you wait until someone starts the journey you have already lost.

7. Search and retargeting need to understand that past behaviour is no guarantee of what people will do in the future. Misplaced assumptions damage brands by making them look foolish at best and scary at worst.

8. Our digital efforts should be focused on improving user experiences of our owned media rather than interrupting and ruining other brands’ user experiences. We need to create more seemless on and offline user experiences.

9. Search is still the most powerful tool for brands online. It’s now a hideously expensive line in the budget but it’s a natural consumer behaviour and businesses are often the point of the search rather than an unwelcome intrusion.

10. Social has a powerful role for brands especially in customer service but in advertising terms we have to accept it’s a now paid for media. Indeed, outside PR the era of earned media is over to all intents and purposes.

What do you reckon?


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