Cutting Through: Viewability

Unilever's Chief Marketing Officer, Keith Weed, raised the issue of online media quality last month at Cannes Lions 2015. He was holding the flag high for all marketers who are exposing their brands to the programmatic world of online: on the one hand gaining scale, and on the other opening themselves up to viewability and fraud issues.

Cutting Through: Viewability
According to the IAB, an ad can be deemed viewable if it’s 50% in view for at least one second 

These were also key topics discussed at this year’s Media360 in June. 

There is still a lack of knowledge around fraud and viewability.  If marketers have heard of the topics, they are not completely aware of what they can do, or indeed, what the industry is doing to address the issues.  Advertisers rely on their media agencies and technology providers to keep them up to date.  But the knowledge gap is closing, as the marketing press start to report on these topics and trade bodies provide industry-recognised verification standards and accreditation that assure advertisers that they are receiving transparency and control over the quality of their digital ad campaigns.

According to our research at the end of last year, 69% of media buyers and suppliers state that media quality is a top priority in their organisation, with ad fraud (89%) and viewability (86%) at the top of the list.

According to the IAB, an ad can be deemed viewable if it’s 50% in view for at least one second - but how effective is it if surrounded by a dozen others? A website crammed with too many adverts can damage both the user’s experience and the ad’s ability to stand out.   Even a campaign with excellent viewability can be compromised by problems, such as unsavoury images, numerous ad units and inappropriate content.  Add in bot or ad fraud (non-human traffic) and it’s understandable that marketers are getting nervous about online advertising (again).

The recent focus on viewability and ad fraud, is helping raise awareness to ensure digital advertising spend is not wasted. These issues are a key focus for trade bodies such as the IAB and ABC. They are providing industry-recognised verification standards and accreditation that assure advertisers that they are receiving transparency and control over the quality of their digital ad campaigns. 

To run the most effective campaigns, advertisers need to think beyond viewability and address brand safety as well as fraud.  We believe as this is all intrinsically linked, online media quality is the key.


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