Why you should not buy ads online in India
- by admin
For a country that has been a poster child for digital advertising, the country’s digital advertising landscape has been in disarray.
And India’s digital ad market has been the worst in the world.
According to research firm StatCounter, digital ad revenue in India dropped 16% in 2016, while ad revenues in the US and Europe dropped by 20%.
That’s a stark contrast to the United States, which saw digital ad revenues rise by 23% last year.
India has also struggled to make up for lost ad revenue.
India’s ad revenue fell by 8% in 2015 and by 18% in 2017.
The decline is attributed to a range of reasons, including the government’s push for ad-free browsing and a ban on ads that contain personal data.
But some argue that the advertising ban is a direct result of the country losing a market it once dominated.
“There is a lot of data on India’s ads,” says Vishnu Kumar, co-founder and chief executive of Digital Marketing Group, a marketing consultancy.
“The Indian government is doing a good job in making it easy for advertisers, but there is a lack of transparency and they need to be more transparent.
And this needs to change.”
Kumar says the country should not expect an immediate turnaround.
“Advertising in India is a slow-moving industry and they will probably see a bump in the future, but it is still quite early,” he says.
The problem in IndiaFor India’s advertising industry, the current advertising environment is not good.
“I think advertising has never been a priority for India, so we have not had the growth to support advertising growth, even after the demonetisation,” says Anupam Kher, head of business development at online ad platform Adex.
Kher is not alone.
Digital ad sales in India are a fraction of the US’s, and less than the UK’s.
According the Advertising Council of India (ACI), digital ad sales are at around 15% of the market in India, which is also one of the worst ad markets in the Western world.
And it is unclear what impact that will have on ad sales.
“We do not know what impact this [digital ad] ban will have,” says Kher.
Kheer says India has a lot to gain from the digital ad revolution, but not so much from the ad ban.
“When India introduced the digital advertising model, they did not expect that it would take off,” he adds.
The government has been quick to take measures to combat the problem, including a ban in April that banned any advertisements that could be seen as offensive or harmful to anyone.
But Kher believes the current policy is a step too far.
“You cannot ban ads based on offensive content,” he explains.
“If a person is seen as being offensive, it can lead to a boycott or boycott campaigns, and that is not an appropriate response to this.”
Kher says there are already a number of other ways for advertisers to get around the ad restrictions.
They can buy a pre-screened ad, or they can sell ad space directly to consumers.
But there are no easy solutions.
“It is hard to get a platform to sell to consumers in India without ad blocking,” he warns.
Ads that contain sensitive information or personal data are also banned, and the government has said it will take action against any advertisers that break that policy.
And Kher says advertisers should not be expecting much from ad platforms that use ad blocking.
“Ads are meant to be interactive,” he argues.
“To use the term ‘interactive’ is a bit misleading.”
Ads like Facebook Live, which allows people to post videos and photos of themselves and friends, and Google’s AdSense, which uses ad networks to show ads based only on users’ search history, are not banned.
But they are not allowed to be shown in the same space as an advertisement.
For a country with such a large user base, AdSense is a powerful tool.
But Kher warns that advertisers are not going to take AdSense for granted.
“There is an awful lot of money at stake with AdSense,” he points out.
In 2016, Adsense reported revenue of US$3.3 billion.
Advertisers in India earned $1.7 billion from AdSense.
“A lot of people do not trust the ad space,” says Bishnu Mehta, managing director of Adex India.
“They are not willing to pay for it.”
“Advertisers are not happy with the ads being shown in AdSense and will not pay for them,” says Kumar.
Adex, which was founded in 2013, does not offer an ad-blocker, but does offer a free mobile ad-sharing app, AdHaven.
It also has a mobile app for its India clients.
But Mehtal says Adex’s mobile app is not a perfect solution. “With Ad
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