Wanamaker Wannabe: comScore Finds A Third Of Display Is Wasted, Now It Can Tell You Which Third
Nearly one-third (31%) of online display ads are never seen -- typically as a result of people scrolling past an ad before it loads -- or because it falls below the fold and never comes into view, per comScore, which also found that 72% of campaigns had at least some ads running next to content that is considered “not brand safe” by the advertiser.
The Web research firm presented the data in connection with the launch of a new tool for validating digital ad delivery dubbed Validated Campaign Essentials (vCE). The company says it differs from similar existing solutions because it provides an unduplicated accounting of impressions across a range of dimensions, such as ads delivered “in-view,” in the right geographic market, in a brand-safe environment and absent of fraudulent delivery.
“The display advertising market today is characterized by an overabundance of inventory, often residing on parts of a Web page that are never viewed by the user,” stated Dr. Magid Abraham, president and CEO of comScore. “This dilutes the impact of campaigns for advertisers and represents a drag on prices to publishers.”
Furthermore, the company said impressions validated through its system can be expressed as “validated gross ratings points,” or vGRPs.
The new metric would reflect measurement of ads that were delivered and had an opportunity to impact consumers. Beyond that, comScore said campaign audience reports through vCE will include reach and frequency, comprehensive demographics and behavioral segments only for people with valid exposure.
Verifying ad delivery and placement has long been a challenging aspect of online advertising because of its complexity and inherently dynamic nature. The importance of verification in digital advertising in particular led to the rise of vendors specializing in the service, such as AdSafe and DoubleVerify, which raised $33 million in funding late last year. Last year, comScore acquired verification and optimization service firm AdXpose for $22 million in a stock-based deal.
Last week, AdSafe released similar findings, reporting that across all types of sites, some 38% of ads were never in view to a user, and nearly half were in view for less than 0.5 seconds in 2011. Among other findings from the comScore study involving “12 national premium brands,” in-view percentages varied by site and ranged from 7% to 91%.
An average of 4% of ad impressions overall were delivered outside the intended geography of a site, but individual campaigns ran as high as 15%. In many cases, ads were served in markets where the advertised product is not sold, resulting in wasted ad spend.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau in November issued a set of proposed industry guidelines for the conduct of verification systems and services. The IAB described the guidelines as an “advanced framework” designed to ensure that a common set of methods and practices are used by various ad verification services.