Fraud and ad collision continue to plague the online advertising industry. More than 20% of the ads placed through publishers and networks are suspected of being fraudulent, according to a report released Thursday. For ads placed through exchanges, the risk rises to nearly 30%. Ads placed directly had the lowest risk, with only 5%.
The findings from Integral Ad Science -- formerly AdSafe -- during Q3 and Q4 2012, reflect an industry’s continuous struggle with viewability and ad collision. The report provides insight into a number of issues that networks and brands must work to resolve, including brand safety, page content and structure, ad viewability, share of view, ad clutter, and likelihood of fraudulent or suspicious activity.
Networks earned a score of 663, which identifies moderate risk, with nearly 16% of ads exhibiting suspicious activity. Exchanges and hybrid networks proved riskier with scores of 488 and 502, respectively, and around 30% of ads with suspicious activity.
Two important industry issues that marketers must tackle are fraud and ad collision, according to Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral Ad Science, which rebranded from AdSafe last year. When it comes to monitoring "ad collision," defined as when multiple networks target the same consumer browser cookies with the same ad, Integral found that approximately 20% of ads collide with another from the same campaign.
Within the 20% of ads, 13.9% collided with one other, 3.4% collided with two others, and 5.2% collided with three or more. The cost of displaying multiple ads from the same campaign to users within IO specifications can become significant for advertisers. The study suggests $200,000 on a $1 million ad buy.
No doubt, marketers will continue to invest in mobile advertising in 2013. While desktop computers and laptops continue to dominate ad impressions at more than 90%, Integral's analysis finds an increase, nearly two times the amount of ads viewed on mobile and tablet devices during Q3 and Q4 2012. Ad impressions on mobile devices rose from 1.38% to 2.02%, while ad impressions viewed on tablets increased from 2.56% to 3.88%, according to the report.
Knoll said there are opportunities to improve online advertising quality for advertisers and publishers. This report provides insight into how media quality and viewability both vary across channels and content categories.
"Head On Collision photo from Shutterstock"