It’s a story that has certainly ruffled a few feathers in the industry. Marketing UK ran with the headline, ‘Marketers waste £485m a year on unseen ads and the problem is getting worse’, while the UK IAB this week released a strong statement on viewability levels as part of its new ‘IAB Believes’ initiative:
“Sorting out these discrepancies is an international challenge,” said Guy Phillipson, CEO of IAB UK. “But the industry has really good form in solving problems like this. We want to employ the right tools, so we’re not paying for invisible ads.”
But where the Meetrics data appears to be casting a question mark over the online advertising industry at large, it shines a significantly brighter spotlight on the premium publisher environment online. I asked Anant Joshi, Director of International Business at Meetrics – who are already working with media owners such as Telegraph Media Group and Spiegel Online, if viewability levels are higher in premium publisher environments?
“Yes,” said Joshi. “We generally see higher visibility rates within premium publishers – generally above 70 per cent viewability rates, and less than 1 per cent ad fraud. Increasing viewability also represents a massive opportunity for media owners in creating premium price packages. By better understanding their own inventory, publishers can place a premium on areas of their sites that are more likely to provide higher viewability, and in doing so this would also send positive signals to the market. Ultimately they can make changes to their sites for better viewability, and as more recognisable brands adopt this approach online it will undoubtedly raise the standards for the industry at large.”
Issues of viewability, ad fraud, and brand safety are rightly becoming a hot topic right now, accelerated by the growing issue of ad-blocking. But with visibility coming under scrutiny across the wider web, legacy publishers are better positioned than ever before to provide a premium service for advertisers and consumers alike. The brand recognition, ad visibility, and uncluttered environments provided by traditional publishers are undoubtedly desirable destinations for advertisers looking to reach targeted audiences today.
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