Calling BS in Ad Tech

Ad tech is full of BS. Because when companies create confusion about their products, to make themselves sound more advanced than they actually are, they are able to sell more.

Take the topic of scale, for example. How often have you been told that a technology offers access to “millions” or “billions” of something, be that users, ad impressions, or websites? The reality is that access in this space is not too hard to come by. It’s commoditized. It’s not unlike the financial markets, where you can literally access “billions of dollars of securities” by signing up for a free E-Trade account. 

The question should be: Have you actually demonstrated your ability to utilize that access effectively? 

A DSP will say they can access billions of impressions by plugging into exchanges, but how many impressions did they actually bid on, and how many did they win last month? Do they choose not to send bids for every impression because they can’t afford the server costs? What would happen to their platform, and to campaigns that are running on their platform, if they were to increase their volume? 

And that’s just one example, the list of BS in this industry goes on and on. AI, measurement, transparency, data usage, brand safety, fraud, you get the point. It’s always possible that a product can help you achieve your goals, despite the company’s attempts at misdirection. But if the seller is not forthright with you, how can you know what you’re buying, and how can you ever build a trust-based partnership?

We’re here to help! Here’s a handy write up from U of Digital founder, Shiv Gupta, featured in AdExchanger. You can also listen to this podcast to learn more, where Shiv and AdExchanger editors discuss the article, and dig into the weeds on how Facebook is planning to deal with Apple’s IDFA restrictions coming up in iOS 14

Ad tech news
with a side of memes.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on what’s going down in ad tech.