Digital ads hit-or-miss target, depending on product category: comScore. “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” That famous line by department store owner John Wanamaker may need an update in the digital age. An analysis of several product categories shows an average two-thirds (66%) of digital advertising misses its target. Some ad categories are more likely than others to miss their target. Only 42% of retail ads reach the intended target and just 41% of consumer product ads reach hit the bulls eye. It’s 50-50 for auto ads, comScore finds. “Achieving 100% in-target delivery isn’t necessarily realistic and it isn’t always feasible,” comScore senior director of product marketing and ad effectiveness Andrea Vollman said last week during a webinar. “As the target narrows, the likelihood of hitting that target also becomes smaller.” ComScore analysis found that when an advertiser had a broad target, like adults 18+, the ads hit the target 88% of the time. But when it’s narrowed down to a 35-44 demo, just 42% of ads reach the target. Yet advertisers still pour billions of dollars into website advertising. The biggest display advertiser during the first quarter was AT&T, which comScore says had 21.2 billon impressions on desktops. Intuit’s TurboTax was also a big spender, ranking fourth with a total of 8.8 billion impressions. Three of the top 10 were automakers: No. 5 Nissan, No. 9 Fiat and No. 10 Toyota. “These advertisers in the auto space understand that their customers are increasingly turning to the internet during the buying process to research their options, compare across manufacturers and compare different pricing,” Vollman said. Other big spenders included Microsoft, Verizon, Amazon, and SoftBank.