Digital advertising was supposed to give us more transparency.  Better insight with a slew of metrics on clicks and conversions.  The ability to draw a straight line from campaign performance to ROI.  A way to stop wasting advertising dollars through micro-targeting and geo-targeting.

Report after report show the incredible waste in digital advertising dollars when people use sketchy ad networks instead of premium publishers and agencies.  Social media company after social media company keep being accused of reporting fraudulent numbers.  In fact, the digital ad market is predicted to be the second largest revenue source for organized crime.

It’s now estimated that more than $50 billion dollars – or nearly 20 percent of all dollars – are being siphoned off by cyber criminals using fraudulent impressions.

The promise of transparency and the ability to track ROI have yet to be realized.  That’s borne out by a study by ad measurement company Integral Ad Science (IAS).  IAS surveyed major ad agencies and brands about what they see as the biggest threats to digital advertising budgets in 2019.

Agencies See Ad Fraud As Biggest Threat

On the agency side, 69% of executives say digital ad fraud (fraudulent impressions) is the biggest threat.

Brands See Lack of ROI Tracking As Biggest Threat

For brands, the number one thing they cite is an inability to connect ROI from campaigns to sales.