Summary of How Much of Your Audience Is Fake?

Marketers Thought the Web Would Allow Perfectly Targeted Ads. Hasn't Worked Out that Way.

Bloomberg Business,

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How Much of Your Audience Is Fake? summary
Digital advertising promises to reach more viewers than TV ads for less money, but in some cases, as many as 98% of digital ad views are fake.


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When digital advertising first took off, businesses believed it would enable them to reach their target markets at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising methods. This wasn’t the case. Business reporters Ben Elgin, Michael Riley, David Kocieniewski and Joshua Brustein reveal why online advertising isn’t always as lucrative as companies hope it would be. They explain how advertisers may unknowingly pay for ads that are mostly viewed by software on fake websites and describe the tactics some advertisers have begun using to protect their investments. getAbstract recommends this analysis to anyone with an interest in the evolution of online advertising.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why online advertising doesn’t provide a high return on investment,
  • How ad views become artificially inflated
  • What some advertisers are doing to combat it.


Traditionally, if you wanted to advertise your product or service, TV was the best avenue to reach your customers, but it wasn’t perfect: Costs are high and half of your marketing effort is wasted. In the mid-2000s, digital search and display advertising came along and promised to reach more viewers...
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About the Authors

Ben Elgin and Michael A. Riley are reporters for Bloomberg Business. David Kocieniewski is a business reporter. Joshua Brustein is a writer for

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    Guest 1 year ago
    20% online ad views by human beings? Wow, I didn't think that so many people still aren't using an ad blockers, which is highly recommended to do. Not only for the sake of an uncluttered surfing experience, but also for privacy and security reasons:

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