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Ad Exchanges

Ad Exchanges: All that Glitters …

For many advertisers, using ad networks and exchanges is a way to avoid paying premium online ad rates while also streamlining the often time-consuming administrative tasks associated with managing individual promo programs with individual publishers.

But there’s a big problem with ad exchanges in particular:  There’s usually a pile of toxic inventory that’s part of what’s being offered.  
Too many ad exchanges are knee-deep with inventory from obscure websites and ones with poor editorial quality – and that’s probably putting it mildly.

Even worse is the abundance of ads that are served but that no one actually sees.  Fueled by long-tail publishers that get paid by ad networks for every ad impression delivered, too many websites are littered with “Potemkin Village zones” – ads that are served outside a viewer’s range of sight.

AdExpose and other ad verification firms have found that as much as half of the inventory offered on ad exchanges
isn’t viewable.

Over the past several years, advertising trade groups like the 4As have worked to develop better ways to monitor online ads and put a lid on all the fakery.  But we’re still a long way from rooting out the problem.

Considering the lay of the land, many of our own clients continue to prefer purchasing premium advertising inventory directly from publishers.  It’s understandable:  As with so many other things in business and in life … you get what you pay for.


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