60 second read: advertising is changing, but is it for the better?

An interesting and rather unflattering long-form article about the state of advertising in the FT Weekend magazine prompted this piece. Unless you’ve been asleep for the last two years, you will have noticed that advertising is changing fast, and not always in ways that benefit audiences, media or budget holders. There are literally hundreds of articles about what is mostly technology-driven change in the sector. You could easily spend weeks trying to make sense of all the hype and buzzword-heavy information.

So here’s my indispensable, 7-point guide for anyone trying to keep up but who can’t be bothered to put the legwork in.

1. Native advertising – fool people into thinking they’re reading editorial
2. Programmatic advertising – screw media buyers and sellers in one hit
3. Advertising re-targeting – pester people who’ve already decided not to buy
4. Ad-blockers – consumers reject irrelevance. See next item
5. Native in-video advertising – adverts to get around ad-blockers
6. Advertising click fraud – digital media owners and organised crime screw advertisers
7. Digital – marketing millennials’ universal ‘weapon of choice’ to baffle Gen X executives

Let me know if I’ve got any of this wrong. Remember, what happens in consumer marketing often spills over into B2B before long. And if you’re thinking this is all way too cynical, let me assure you it’s not my intention. I’m just reserving the right to be skeptical, until there is clear evidence that any of this is a genuine step forward in advertising effectiveness.


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