‘I would call it fraud’: Why attribution has a viewability problem

If brand advertisers are taking the lead on viewability, it’s been less of a focus for direct-response advertisers. That’s because DR advertising is measured on a view-through basis, or the idea that the last exposure a person got to an ad should get the credit for the conversion. That’s led to the controversial practice of cookie-bombing, where ad networks buy a lot of low-quality ad inventory so they can drop as many cookies as possible to maximise a campaign’s chances of getting credit for the conversion.

Then came non-viewable ads; the view-through model hasn’t caught up.

“Attribution has historically not been done with a mind to viewability,” said Jonah Goodhart, CEO of Moat, a viewability vendor. “And with the rise of viewability, non-viewable inventory has gotten cheaper, so direct-response platforms are buying non-viewable inventory to get credit for conversions that are not necessarily there.”

There are two reasons for this, said Alan Smith, chief digital officer at Assembly. Viewability and the technology used to measure it is still in its infancy and not used broadly outside of agencies and brands. Viewability data is still a relatively separate technology, so there’s been little effort to incorporate it in the reporting that comes out of an ad server.

Source: Digiday

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