Advertising in the United States is the most valuable industry in the country, with total earnings exceeding $3.3 trillion in 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But the jobs and wages in that sector have been stagnant for years.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants reported that house advertising earned $1.3 billion in 2019.
While the industry has been growing in the last decade, the numbers are still not enough to keep pace with inflation.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis projects the wages of house advertising professionals will increase by 1.2 percent annually in 2020, from $15,000 in 2019 to $18,000 this year.
A recent study from the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) shows that in 2019 the average house advertising salary is $49,600, with the median income at $55,000.
House advertising also pays the median family income of $45,000, according the report.
House advertisers pay $1,000 per ad on average, according CMD, and most of those pay only $250 to $500 for the most popular ad space.
House ad buyers often pay much less than the average family, with median annual income of just $31,000 for house ad buyers, according an analysis from the Institute for Policy Studies.
House ads also have become more targeted, according a CMD report from 2018.
The most popular ads in 2018 were from small business owners, which CMD reported had a median income of nearly $200,000 each.
A typical ad cost $1 million to produce.
Advertisers also earn commissions from websites and other online businesses that may have sponsored ads, according NERA.
“House ads are increasingly becoming a target for predatory online ad companies, which use these ads to make money off the ‘unfair’ competition and to target users with ads that are most likely to get clicks,” said Chris Kelleher, president of the Center on Media and Public Affairs.
The Center on Business and the Media analyzed a large sample of House ads from 2018 and 2019.
It found that while ad buyers are making money, consumers are being left out.
“As ad buyers continue to pay their ad costs, they are actually getting more and more of the same ads that they have paid for in the past,” Kellehar said.
The study also found that many advertisers are not paying their ad prices for the ads that appear on their site.
In addition, many of the ads are paid for by ad networks that use the same content as their competitors, Kellehara said.
Many advertisers who used to advertise in the newspaper industry and TV networks, for example, are now working for cable television networks and satellite television companies that offer ads on networks like ESPN, ESPN2 and the NFL Network, he said.
“This is why they have to be paid, and this is why we see more and less ads on the Web,” Killehara told CNBC.
“These are the same advertisers that have been paying the same ad costs and paying the costs of other advertising on their websites.”
House ads have also seen a rise in fraud, according Kelleer.
“We saw a large increase in ad fraud from 2013 to 2015.
They’ve doubled, and they’re still going up,” he said, pointing to a recent report by CMD.
“What we are seeing is the real cost of advertising is being passed on to consumers, and the people are not getting the benefits.”