The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) surveyed its members to understand marketers' perspectives on viewability verification procedures used by digital media owners.
The ANA found almost all respondents (97%) believe that digital media owners’ inventory should be measured by a third party.
The need for third-party verification was reinforced by an overwhelming 90% of survey respondents who said they're not confident that their digital working media meets industry viewability standards.
And 61% of ANA respondents said they would shift their spending elsewhere if digital media owners did not provide independent measurement.
“During a time of intense scrutiny on transparency and accountability, it’s vitally important that all digital media owners measure viewability by an independent third party, consistent with industry standards. That’s just ‘table stakes’ for digital advertising,” said Bob Liodice, ANA president and CEO, in a press release.
Some large media owners don't allow third-party measurement vendors to report viewable ad impressions to their clients. Instead, they use internally derived metrics that haven't been independently verified.
Currently, more than 20 firms are accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC) to measure digital advertising viewability. Nearly two-thirds of ANA respondents feel “very strongly” that a digital media owner should have internally derived metrics accredited by the MRC.
The ANA said it will continue working with the MRC and other industry trade groups to increase visibility on the importance of this issue and drive industry standards.
In addition, The Alliance for Audited Media noted: “The quality of the digital supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link... Marketers must take the lead by demanding the accountability and transparency that come with a third-party certification audit.”
Bill Duggan, ANA group EVP, said the association will continue "to urge marketers to demand greater transparency and accountability for their digital media investments and support accredited third-party verification.”The survey was conducted among ANA members during the summer of 2015. There were 154 respondents.
Another sign of the growing distrust of digital "ad impressions" by advertisers who have belatedly awakened to the"viewability problem". Next step: get a realistic definition of "viewable"----- namely 100% for video ads.
100% viewability isn't realistic though. Every publisher would have to over-deliver every campaign - totally ridiculous amount of makegoods. Technology isn't there to ensure 100% anyway, and there isn't even a consensus yet on what a viewable impression is - when do you count it? Ensuring a better standard is commendable - but 100% doesn't make sense at this point.
Joshua, the answer to your point is siimple. Advertisers should only pay for 100% viewable "impressions" at a CPM that is agreed upon for the buy. In other words, the advertiser may not get all of the "impressions" that were bought---due to the fact that some were not "viewable". Over time advertisers will learn how to adjust for this and, in effect, over buy, knowing that many of their impressions---or GRPs---can't be delivered.
You still have the problem of the actual measurement not being there for all platforms though - so would mobile (for example) not be part of the buy at all? That would be tough. And it still doesn't solve the universal definition of when it is considered viewable - except if everyone agrees on the limited measurement of the current system. Your solution works, but it seems like basically everyone admitting it's more like 100% "where possible" which is going to be the minority of overall impressions. I'd propose something more like a achieveable goalpost - maybe 60-70% - this way everyone can adjust for that viewability level and not worry as much about every impression being trackable and creditable in a world that just isn't able to provide that granularity yet.
You have a point, Joshua, but at the end, it all boils down to what the advertiser is willing to pay per "impression", when a large portion of the "impressions" have little or no selling value. In short, recognizing the technical limitations and going along with a looser definition of what an impression is should be acompanied by a reduction in overall CPMs. Just my opinion, of course, but TV-type branding advertisers do have an alternative--TV.
William, I would say that it all depends on the kind of ad campaign that is involved. If the advertiser is a direct response marketer, obviously CTRs and other overt or immediate actions by a user are appropriate. However if we are talking about a branding campaign, then one would expect that more "traditional" metrics such as "proven" ad recall, brand claim registration, intent to buy, favorable image, etc. are more important.