Bob Hoffman, aka the Ad Contrarian, has called out the industry’s lack of action against ad fraud.
Taking aim at both organisations and individuals, he claims marketers “don’t really care that much” about the impact ad fraud is having, both on people and democratic society in general.
“I think they [marketers] are more interested in what’s convenient for them than what’s good for the world,” he says. “We have acted very irresponsibly – all of us in the advertising world – on this issue. I’m not going to give anyone a free pass on this.”
In his latest book, AdScam: How Online Advertising Gave Birth to One of History’s Greatest Frauds, and Became a Threat to Democracy, he focuses on tracking in particular, likening it to spying.
“My conclusion is that ad tech, and specifically tracking, is a very dangerous thing,” he adds.
“Nobody knows for sure how big ad fraud is, but it’s probably – according to most experts – $60bn or more a year and… it’s probably going to organised crime, it’s probably going to unfriendly governments who can easily steal from the ad tech ecosystem and it’s probably funding some very bad things in our world.”
Listen to the podcast for the full interview, which also covers how to improve the industry and why Hoffman believes it’s his job to be subversive.
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