New digital media tactics offer benefits and risks

A story in today’s New York Times highlights the challenges of using new technology to reach prospective buyers across the Internet:

Money is funneled to smaller sites through a complex system of agencies and third-party networks, which can resemble a stock exchange. This system, known as programmatic advertising, allows brands to collect many millions of impressions — an industry term that generally indicates that an ad has been displayed and can be viewed.

While programmatic advertising makes it cheaper and easier to target buyers as they browse various websites that interest them, it also makes it easy for publishers to promote low-quality sites – like those featuring fake news – and get paid to deliver low-quality impressions. Pay close attention to how your marketing dollars are being spent.

Technology has emerged to protect brands from showing up on sites that traffic in, say, pornography or spam, but those measures have been found wanting when it comes to disinformation.

Read more: Advertising’s Moral Struggle: Is Online Reach Worth the Hurt? [NYT]