Digital media ad wastage hits $100 million in Q1 2023

By Ibidunni Banjoko

As digital advertising expenditure continues to increase, it has been reported that brands wasted more than $104 million in digital ad spending in the first quarter of 2023, an average of 43% across total audited media spend, according to figures from independent digital performance agency Next&Co.

The wastage is above last year’s overall average of 40% of audited spend and up on Q4 2022 figures.

The latest digital media wastage report audited 61 companies with annual digital ad budgets of between $500,000 to $21 million. Most companies were multinational (43%) and national (33%), along with ASX-listed organisations (11%) and SMEs (13%).

The data, compiled from Next&Co’s Prometheus proprietary media auditing tool, found retail brands wasted the most digital ad dollars last quarter at $40.6 million. This was followed by finance at $33.3 million, insurance ($9.3 million), health ($7.3 million) and real estate ($7.3 million respectively), and education ($6.2 million).

Across digital media platforms, the most Q1 2023 ad spend was wasted on Facebook at $45 million, followed by Google ($42 million), LinkedIn ($10 million), and Bing ($5 million).

While commenting on the wastage, John Vlasakakis, Next&Co co-founder, said: media agencies are continuing to waste ‘record’ amounts of ad dollars, despite the tightening market conditions.

“As brands respond to an overall decline in consumer spending, they will need to seriously consider where and how they spend their advertising dollars for the remainder of 2023,” Vlasakakis said.

“Knowledge will be the power for advertisers in the coming months, and give them an edge in the market – they will need to know exactly how much they’re spending and the ROI to ensure their spend is delivering the best results possible.”


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