Examining the Problems with Digital Advertising

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Digital advertising is controversial. From consumers distrusting advertisers to advertisements appearing next to controversial content, digital advertising has had some hiccups.

Although it has its benefits, digital advertising has been around for a relatively short period of time compared to print. However, print has had the time to evolve and develop itself, while digital is still trying to gain its footing. This leads to problems for consumers and companies alike.

Let’s take this time to examine the current problems that digital advertising faces:


Lack of Transparency


The biggest complaint consumers have with digital advertising is its lack of transparency. This is mostly due to the lack of standards from publishers and their brands.

Today, consumers have difficulty disseminating the information they view online. Facebook, for example, says it’s a tech company but almost all of its profits come from advertising and content. This means Facebook and other social media giants aren’t held to the same scrutiny as many media outlets.

With over 2/3s of American adults use social media as a news source, it is crucial for people to trust where the information they’re reading is coming from.


Security Concerns


Russia has been famously outed as being involved in the 2016 presidential election. Their involvement included targeted Facebook and Twitter ads, which were designed to increase dissent about pressing issues and polarize presidential candidate support.

It’s remarkably easy and relatively cheap to purchase an online ad, something Facebook is looking to make more difficult after Russia’s tampering. However, it is clear modern advertising makes it easy for foreign powers to manipulate the way others think.


Tainted Brand Image


A company’s most important asset is their image. This image was tainted for brands like YouTube and Google, especially when the two got in trouble for airing advertisements with racist and anti-Semitic videos.

In the months following the backlash, YouTube tried to strengthen their A.I. flagging system, which led to many unrelated videos being demonetized.

Trust is an integral part of any marketing campaign, which is why digital advertising has hurt both consumers and brands. In the wake of this distrust, Procter & Gamble slashed their digital advertising budget and gave all of their partners until the end of the year to fix their advertising flaws.

Due to these events, print still remains one of the more trusted forms of advertising. Through educating instead of selling, print has become a reliable and trustworthy form of advertising. Instead of continuing to tolerate this type of advertising, try using a medium you can trust.


Want to learn how to create reliable print materials? Check out our Free Guide.


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