Fake News-Facilitating Marketers Are the Measurement Menaces of the Month

The average CMO’s job tenure these days is about 18 months. And, as sorry as I am about the disruption that occurs with every changeover, about 20% of them deserve to lose their jobs.

That’s the 20% who responded to a Conference Board/SNCR survey by saying that they wouldn’t reduce programmatic ad spending on websites that published fake and/or unsavory news.

Big money, bad ad placement

Programmatic ad spend will reach nearly $410 billion this year. Much of that gigantic pile of money buys algorithm-driven ad placements adjacent to unsavory content, including pornography, fake news, pirated content, and videos espousing extreme views. In other words, programmatic ads support the very news sites that subvert democratic values and sway elections around the world.

But many agencies, media buyers, and marketers are too busy worrying about how many Instagram followers they have to do anything about it. According to the Conference Board research, more than half (58%) don’t even know what publications their advertising is running in. Which means they are spending money blindly, with virtually no accountability.

Now you know why CMOs get fired so often.

Voting with their dollars—for fake news

What’s worse is that they take absolutely no responsibility for their own actions. It’s their money that is paying for the ads, but the majority of respondents say that it’s the publishers and social media platforms that have to fix the problem. Clearly they don’t understand the influence of their own spending.

70% of respondents said they had a negative or very negative impression of advertisers they see next to unsavory content. And 95% say that association with fake news erodes consumer trust in brands.

These irresponsible marketers are truly a fitting Measurement Menace to kick off what will certainly be a challenging year. ∞

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