Ad Collision Costs $200,000 On $1 Million Ad Buy

Head-On-Collision-Shutterstock-AFraud 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"

5 comments about "Ad Collision Costs $200,000 On $1 Million Ad Buy".
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  1. Richard Brehm from Comcast Spotlight, February 14, 2013 at 6:18 p.m.

    Avoid collisions like this. Stick with IBV on safe sites like

  2. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, February 15, 2013 at 3:40 a.m.

    I am assuming that your are referring to banner ads only? The biggest failure in online ads is not to trust text links. We have published over 39,000 sweepstakes and contest on All of these were text links and we work with many Fortune 500 companies. With text links, there is virtually no fraud or collisions. Maybe you should look at text link advertising closer.

  3. Rafael Cosentino from Telanya, February 15, 2013 at 9:45 a.m.

    Click Fraud and bot traffic continue to make it very difficult for advertisers to connect and find value. At Adblade, we are our proud of our industry leading Adsafe rating. We often test performance on lower cost inventory, and $.30 cpm inventory is consistently providing value at $.03 cpm.

  4. Jim Rowan from Liqwid, February 15, 2013 at 1:18 p.m.

    Scaling highly creative content to fit dynamically created space by the user such as in the Windows 8 touchable environment is going to become more and more the trend. It is not as simple as just using responsive ads. The responsive ad must be able to reconfigure the creative elements to fit any space, particularly when the size and location of the space can change with user interaction and particular devices. In addition, responsive web sites are becoming more and more relevant since the mobile audience viewing experience is far superior. Liqwid, with its single Liqwid ad unit and a single tag for all ad deliveries on a web page, delivers such responsive ads to fixed or responsive web sites to any device and is fully compatible with Windows 8 and its touchable environment. It is no longer about scrolling a fixed page with fixed ad sizes. Responsive ads in HTML5 can be much more impactful given the creative possibilities.

  5. chris shirling from New Media Shop, February 19, 2013 at 2:33 p.m.

    Click fraud and bot traffic make it difficult for advertisers who buy discount ad networks. Medium tail sites generally don't need to commit fraud to keep their business model afloat.

    Cheap doesn't automatically mean value...

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