Stories in AdTech #1:  "value creation"


We all know adtech today has serious problems: fraud, adblocking, low rates, bad performance, data leakage, and terrible UX. I’m starting this series to offer some of the crazier stories I come across while working to change the industry at Instinctive.

Today I'm highlighting an email from an ad verification vendor service:

What we’ve found is most advertisers/agencies want the report to renegotiate commissions. They actually want the bots to come through so that the report is used as bargaining power in the present and future. This makes you look good with transparency and value creation for the advertiser/agency person. Keep in mind, if we block the fraud, nobody will know what value creation has happened…

You know what's better than transparency? Actually fixing the problem, and being transparent about that. I’m surprised that allowing fraud is somehow considered “value creation” to justify spend, instead of being seen as a challenge to overcome and deliver real value to clients.

I know all the “fraud is priced in” and various other arguments but it’s the type of thinking that this email reveals which is problematic. The redefinition of value to serve a short-term bottom line rather than protecting the client’s interests is all too common in adtech. We can do better, and we need to.

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