Uber wasted $100 million on useless digital ad campaigns

For example, the Anura ad fraud solution checks hundreds of data points and compares each website visitor to real fraud activity records. After that first cut, Frisch noticed that there wasn’t any significant drop in new rider acquisition. So, the company started pulling analytics data and saw that there were numerous “things that just didn’t make any sense. In short, roughly 66% of Uber’s ad spend was either completely ineffective or was eaten up by marketing fraud schemes. Otherwise, simply cutting the ad spend would have produced a noticeable drop in new app installs. Despite the many advancements that have been made in the fight against digital marketing fraud, there are still numerous examples and stories about companies—even big ones—falling victim to ad fraud.

If you pay for it, there will be data scientists doing analysis. I think there’s a very loose belief that sales is how money is made, while they people that build and test products are pure expense. In my experience the Sales and Marketing teams of any large company have the loosest restrictions on how they account for their spending.

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In 2019, Uber sued five ad networks — Hydrane SAS, BidMotion, Taptica, YouAppi and AdAction Interactive — for a similar issue, alleging the networks had wasted tens of millions on “low-quality or fraudulent” ads. And it can be impossible to distinguish between fraud and an ineffective ad campaign, which is just why fraud thrives in the world of programatic advertising. He continued to investigate and found evidence of fraud, fake apps, phantom clicks and bots.

It’s an investment in your mind, but the long time horizon makes it, as you point out, nigh impossible to measure ROI. Running experiments like you suggest is difficult and to do them right requires some fairly specialized knowledge to do correctly. I’d doubt more than a small percentage of companies have the expertise to effectively run any kind of advertising experiment that returns useful data. Most businesses lack that knowledge and rely on metrics provided by the people selling the advertising—who are likely to provide self-serving numbers. For brands that large the majority of their spend isn’t campaigns specific to new products, but overall brand management. The experiments would need to run for years or decades and if the prevailing belief that these are Red Queen’s Races is correct, the cost if they’re wrong could be the whole company.

It’s incredibly naïve to think that companies are flushing half a trillion dollars a year down the toilet on advertising without any attempt to validate their investments. I respectfully disagree, I used to work in F&B industry. And product marketing and placement has absolutely no affect on how one think something taste is good or bad. It does however remind anyone next time the walk into store they should buy coke, which does affect sales number. It’s possible that Coke, Pepsi etc. are all losing more money on ads than they’re gaining in market share against their current competitors and in increased sales.

When searching for crypto related terms, more often than not I see phishing sites as ads than legitimate ads. Large scale ad spend is divided into “branding” and “performance” . The performance category has many factors including the path to the actual conversion/sale and how many steps are in the way and how long it takes. Eventually the business imploded and the partner/affiliate segment became more valuable than the core business partially because it was absent online ad spend. My business also sell only to other business, and Google kept calling us nagging us to do some “experiments”.

(Sandeep Goyal is an advertising veteran. He has worked at leading ad agencies like JWT, Grey, DDB, Rediffusion and Dentsu for over 30 years). Through these experiments marketers large and small made digital ads work better for them. Chase did not need to show their ads on 400,000 websites, when showing ads to humans on 5,000 yielded the same outcomes. Small business owners did not need to buy millions of ad impressions, when buying 1/10 the quantity yielded more sales. Nowhere else is the phrase “you get what you pay for” more applicable than in digital marketing.

If a brand is advertising everywhere, you know they aren’t a fly-by-night company, and their products likely meet some standards of quality. “Chief marketing officer of Unilever” isn’t the guy running experiments, he’s the guy that hires ad agencies and which of the following is the primary objective of demarketing? auditors that in turn have teams of data scientists running various experiments for Unilever. While it’s certainly possible that every one of the 100 million+ ad experiments ran over the past decade have been fatally flawed, it’s highly unlikely.

This leads to poorly run ad campaigns, but rather than continuing to invest in a bad strategy, they typically just kill the effort altogether. In 2012, Bündchen planted a sapling of Sapucaia tree during her visit to Green Nation Fest, an event that occurs every year during the Environment Week and, that year, prior to the realization of Rio +20. Over the years Bündchen participated in several United Nations campaigns to fight against climate change. She participated in challenges on World Environment Day to mobilize people to take action in helping protect the forest, the wildlife, the green economy and to encourage people to reduce their food waste. Bündchen attended Champions of the Earth and Equator Prize ceremonies multiples times. Bündchen was featured in the 2015 Guinness World Record book as the model who earned the most money from June 2014 to June 2015.