Global Report Finds Media Quality Impacted By Brand Safety Issues, Ad Fraud

A new DoubleVerify global report found media quality, or the lack thereof, to be the biggest drag on advertising performance, compounded by persistent concerns about brand safety, digital ad fraud, and viewability. 

The study examined media quality in 165 countries across North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific (APAC), and Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA).

According to DoubeVerify, the persistent problem of fake news is a global problem with local impact, with a direct correlation between terrorist and political events and the increase in fake news.

For example, in March the company blocked over 85 million ads from serving adjacent to inflammatory news in the U.S., a 250% increase from the month prior.

Other significant findings:

--The volume of fake news more than doubled in France during that country’s 2017 presidential election.

--Italy saw a 75% increase in fake news during major news days, including those with terrorist or political events.

--While brand safety issues vary by country, Brazil had the highest violations at 10%; the lowest rating was in India at 2%. The U.S. fell in the middle at 5%.

--The APAC region rated brand safety issues with video ads the highest at 14% compared to other markets.

The report found infected Web browsers have overtaken bots as the biggest agents of fraud, and the U.S. shows the greatest risk.

For example, instead of bots creating “ghost” browsing sessions, agents of fraud are now manipulating a user’s active browser, making it harder to pinpoint and avoid. 

Among the findings related to this point:

--The U.S. had the highest overall rate of advertising fraud at 6%, and the highest rate among display ads at 6% compared to all other countries and markets in the report.

--Video-based ad fraud reached 10%, two times worse than display.

--The lowest fraud rate for display ads was in Latin America at 1%.

--The highest fraud rate for video ads was in APAC at 13%, followed by North America at 10%. 

Notably, the report found that ad viewability is improving slowly and that the U.S. has the second highest viewability rating globally. Still, there is plenty of room for improvement. Among the findings:

--Viewability rates improved for display and video ads: Display viewability was at 52% compared to 44% in 2015, while video viewability was at 59% compared to 35% in 2015.

--The U.S. had the second highest display viewability rating of all countries surveyed at 51%, behind Japan at 54%. 

--Among European countries, Germany led with 49% display viewability, ahead of France, Spain, and the U.K., but trailing the U.S. and Canada.

--Australia had the lowest display viewability of any country at 42%.

--APAC’s video viewability, at 20%, was rated at less than half that of any other market.

“Third-party measurement across all screens, platforms, and channels is critical for consistent digital media performance, especially in this environment where brand safety concerns are surging, viewability is struggling, and ad fraud is still prevalent,” Wayne Gattinella, CEO and president of DoubleVerify, told Digital News Daily via email. “The demand for media transparency will only increase as advertisers need to determine the total quality of what’s being delivered, no matter the platform.”

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