Brands Wasting Millions Of Dollars On Made-For-Advertising Sites

Brands Wasting Millions Of Dollars On Made-For-Advertising Sites

by , Staff Writer @lauriesullivan, March 13, 2024

Brands Wasting Millions Of Dollars On Made-For-Advertising Sites

Adalytics, a crowdsourced advertising performance optimization platform, believes hundreds of major advertisers — including many affiliated with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) — have unknowingly placed ads on Made For Advertising (MFA) sites, which are created for profit through advertising. 

The ads served on these sites — which typically provide a poor user experience and potentially can damage the reputation of digital advertisers — are done through programmatic and non-programmatic channels, according to a study by Analytics.

Adalytics worked with a Fortune 500 company to analyze its efficiencies in ad spend where its global head of media believed the brand had exposure to MFA inventory.

The analysis, which was conducted in 202,  found the brand spent over $10 million on MFA websites. This prompted the company to investigate the extent of the damages and how a Fortune 500 brand’s ads could mistakenly end up serving on MFA sites.

The Adalytics study reviewed campaigns as of January 2024 of hundreds of major brands, including Procter & Gamble, Bayer, Reckitt, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, AbbVie, Novartis, Pfizer, State Farm, Hershey’s, Unilever, Mondelez, Mars, Ford, NBC Universal, Disney, AARP, Pfizer, Dell, The Wall Street Journal, General Motors, Google, Meta, Hyundai, Molson Coors, and many more.

Many ad exchanges and supply-side platforms (SSPs) such as Google, Criteo, OpenWeb, Smart AdServer, and Xandr continue to serve ads on MFA sites.

As a result of an apparent lack of frequency capping when campaigns serve on MFA sites, some brands pay very high prices to reach one consumer. The report suggests that frequency capping does not work on MFA websites. 

Kroger, for example, paid an effective cost-per 1000 people reached of $5,491 to reach one consumer on an MFA site, the report states.

Comcast paid an effective cost per 1000 people reached of $2,628 to reach one consumer on a MFA site in one page-view session.

The cost to reach one unique viewer on an MFA site can be more expensive than the cost of incremental reach of advertising on the Super Bowl half-time show or of running ads on Netflix or Amazon Prime video, states the report.

Many major brands appear to have their ads placed on MFA sites through retail media networks such as Amazon, Target and Walmart. Brands such as Clorox, Colgate, Google, Georgia-Pacific, Kenvue, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Mars, Smuckers, and General Mills had ads seen on MFA sites served through retail media networks such as Amazon’s.

Havas, Dentsu, Omnicom, Publicis, IPG, WPP, Stagwell were also seen to transact ads for major brands on MFA sites.

Demand side platforms (DSPs) have been observed transacting Made for Advertising inventory, too. DSPs such as Amazon DSP, Google DV360, Roku OneView, Yahoo DSP, and others. 

Some companies have stated that MFA sites should be avoided because they operate on the sole purpose of maximizing ad profits at the expense of brands and their reputations.

Adalytics believes hundreds of major advertisers – many affiliated with the ANA trade association – have unknowingly placed ads on Made For Advertising sites.
 

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