Web Ads Are the New Bricks in the Mailbag
As for the third bucket, malicious software is the new “bricks in the mailbag.” In these cases, ads can be served up to fake visitors, or they “can be hidden behind a window on a Website that is the size of a pencil point,” according to comScore. I’ve heard of things like this, and living in Chicago, I grew up with reports of ancient mail bags found in the cellars or under the stairs of mail carriers decades after they passed away. All of this happened, but it doesn’t now.
Today, we have IMBs (intelligent mail barcodes), seeds, and mail tracking systems that enable us to share delivery details with mail owners in real time. And for those Web ads, they’re still working on the reporting. Google has teams working on tools to measure and remove fake Web traffic, but it cannot measure many of the ads, nor has it overcome the challenges posed by smartphones and tablets. Progress is being made, but much of the fraud has yet to be rooted out.
So, are marketers upset that 54 percent of their $14 billion in online display ads isn’t being seen by real humans? You might think so. You might even think they’d be so upset about the $7.5 billion heist that they’d send in the muscle, break some kneecaps, and send people off to sleep with the fishes.
Maybe that’s a bit over the top, but this revelation of fraud and deceit is an opportunity for us as an industry. We’re left with the argument of the old friend, the tried and true workhorse that won’t let you down. We might take our lumps every now and then, but we’re loyal to our craft, perhaps sometimes to a fault. We deliver, and neither rain nor sleet nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds (except perhaps on Saturday, but that’s another post, so to speak).
A third-generation printer, Dustin LeFebvre delivers his vision for Specialty Print Communications as EVP, Marketing through strategy, planning and new product development. With a rich background ranging from sales and marketing to operations, quality control and procurement, Dustin takes a wide-angle approach to SPC