The Imminent Collapse of Digital Advertising

Digital advertising has exploded; even after a Covid-19 dip, it accounts for nearly half of all U.S. advertising spend.

The basic cheat is the fake view. An ad is reported as being served to humans, when it was actually only “seen” by a bot, or by a person in a “click farm” tapping at dozens of screens, or by nothing at all. Networks of fake websites fool the algorithms into believing they are real publications. Measurements of the impact are all over the map, but we know fraud is pervasive. By one estimate, 88% of digital ad clicks are fake.

Digital advertising promised small and mid-size businesses a way to take a small ad budget and increase efficiency.


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