In my event, the functionality of the main advantageous ad creative is usually staggering. It’s futile to try to intuit what people will reply to in an ad: it’s much more effective to easily experiment with alternative ideas and variants and vet them with real audiences, and this was true even before Facebook and Google rolled out algorithmic audience focused on. As it turns out, occasionally audiences reply to truly curious and outlandish concepts and imagery. So part of the reason these fake ads are getting so average is just that Facebook and Google have made it easier to experiment and surface the ideas that teams likely wouldn’t differently have the audacity to check.
As to why ad systems allow these fake ads to be run: if the ads are effective, it means the systems are creating wealth from serving them, and the FTC hasn’t quite caught up with this apply in a way that it can prove contravenes what’s codified in current Truth in Advertising laws. In 2012, the FTC fined Jesta Digital, an app developer and electronic agency, with fraud over an commercials campaign that misled viewers into pondering their phones were contaminated with a virulent disease. This fine, even though, was mostly related to the proven fact that users that clicked on the ads were triggered to buy a subscription to one of Jesta’s services and not to the fact that the ads had nothing to do with the presence of a pandemic on the phones of the viewers.