In the constantly connected world with mass and social media, the advertising industry needs to reprioritize ad quality urgently.

Advertisers need to stop treating consumers like idiots.
Advertising is big business. In 2017, US advertisers spent $300 billion on ads to influence consumer decisions. And yet, we’re not getting what we pay for. Consumers are increasingly aware of how much brands are manipulating them, and they’re taking action. According to a recent survey conducted by Ipsos, nearly three-quarters (72%) of US adults believe that marketing messages have become “too manipulative” over the past five years.

We need to prioritize truth over clicks.
A study published last year by researchers at Stanford University showed that online political advertisements were twice as likely to spread lies compared to truthful ones. That means that, even if people aren’t clicking on ads, they’re still absorbing information that could potentially affect their lives. Advertising agencies should take note.

Digital platforms need to start prioritizing user trust
The rise of fake news and clickbait has created a dangerous environment where misinformation spreads faster than facts. Facebook, Google, Twitter, and YouTube are responsible for billions of dollars worth of revenue each year, and yet, they haven’t done enough to protect their users from malicious content.

Brands need to stop using celebrities to sell products
Celebrity endorsements are often used to promote products without any real connection between the brand and the fame. But these relationships don’t work for everyone — and they certainly don’t work when the star is endorsing something harmful to society.

Marketing budgets need to start reflecting reality.
Marketing departments are spending millions on campaigns that haven’t worked. Yet, they continue to spend money on ineffective strategies. A 2018 report from McKinsey estimates that $150 billion in wasted marketing spending goes unrecovered across the globe. If marketers want to ensure they’re reaching their target audience, they first need to know who those people are and then figure out how best to reach them.

The internet needs to stop being a place for businesses to advertise
We live in a world where everything is connected, and yet, many websites are still built around the idea of promoting a product rather than providing helpful information. When it comes to digital advertising, the internet needs to move away from a focus on selling things and toward giving us unbiased information about the world around us.

People need to stop believing everything they read on social media
Social media is excellent for connecting with friends, discovering new music, and sharing funny memes. But it’s also a breeding ground for false information. Social media companies need to do more to combat the proliferation of disinformation.

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