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May, 2024

Brands squander nearly $100m in digital ad spend in Q1 2024, reveals Next&Co report

Brands have reportedly wasted close to $100 million in digital advertising spend in the first quarter of 2024, marking a decline of 3.85% from the same period in 2023, according to the latest quarterly Digital Media Waste report from Next&Co. The report, compiled from data gathered through Next&Co’s proprietary media auditing tool, PrometheUs, reveals that wasted digital advertising spend reached $97.1 million between January and March 2024, averaging 42% across total audited digital media spend.

In 2023, brands wasted a record $6.149 billion, nearly half (43%) of the $14.1 billion invested in digital advertising Australia-wide. The data represents the millions of advertising dollars that failed to further digital advertising objectives across various verticals.

The report analysed 33 companies in Q1 2024, with digital ad budgets ranging from $500,000 to $21 million. The companies audited included multinational (45%), national (35%), ASX-listed (10%), and SME (10%) companies.

The retail sector recorded the highest amount of wasted digital ad dollars for Q1 2024 at $28.1 million, down from $40.6 million in the same period in 2023. The most ad spend wastage on digital media platforms in Q1 2024 was on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms at $49.5 million, an increase from $45 million in the same period in 2023.

Next&Co’s auditing platform, PrometheUs, has been used by more than 500 companies across Australia. It provides a score out of 100 on the overall performance of each metric and the exact dollar figure of ad spend wastage.

John Vlasakakis, Co-Founder of Next&Co, commented on the findings, “Given the current economic climate, with the cost-of-living crisis affecting overall consumer spending and advertising budgets, brands could be doing so much better if they simply addressed efficiency in their media spending. Wasted advertising dollars have a flow-on effect across the business, affecting everything from day-to-day operations to recruitment, production and more. Brands could improve their overall budget and costs by investing in better understanding their digital advertising platforms and audiences. Businesses need to undertake an independent assessment of how their ad spend is delivering – this audit effectively enables a brand to become ‘recession proof’ by significantly cutting back on wasted ad dollars.”