This was not the exact vernacular chosen when several, marketing expert sat down at the recent dmexco conference, to discuss; “The Future of Digital Advertising.” However, it is suggestive of the question sitting on everyone’s lips – i.e., Can digital advertising be trusted?

The experts discussed some of emerging trends and grappling concerns facing the digital media industry such as: Can brands be built online? Does programmatic creative make sense? Can brand safety be assured? And: How does the industry recover from the fall-out of low ad viewability and ad fraud?

On the face of it, digital ought to be the perfect media as it should mean the burial of the famous quote “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

“Can digital advertising be trusted?”

Going digital means you no longer have to rely upon publishers’ guesstimations of their readership as a proxy of your target audience. Instead, with today’s technology you can ensure that only your exact target demographic sees your ad. Programmatic advertising should mean efficient, real-time delivery.

How far can we trust this is the case, when reputable industry names get it so wrong. Last month, Facebook, (one half of the digital duopoly, shared with Google), was caught claiming to reach 7.8 million young people in the UK when only 5.8 million exist.

If, as according to Comscore, ad viewability is only just over 50% and if, as we see, Facebook is overestimating its advertising reach, then we have a different question on our hands.

It’s no longer; “Which half of my advertising works?” Instead, it’s: “Which half actually exists?”

by Dellistina James
Head of Business Development at MASS Analytics