Digital Media Brand Risk Dropped Drastically In 1H, Led By Display

Brand risk dropped across all ad formats and environments globally in this year’s first half, according to a new Media Quality Report from ad verification company Integral Ad Science (IAS). 

Overall brand risk fell below 4%, as more advertisers adopted sophisticated brand suitability and risk prevention strategies. 

Display was the safest ad format, averaging brand-risk rates of 2.4% on desktop (down 1.8 points year-over-year) and 2.6% in mobile web globally. 

Brand risk for desktop display campaigns dropped by 2.4 points in the U.S., 3.9 points in Brazil, 3.6 points in Mexico, and 3.4 points in Canada. 

In the U.S., where advertisers have long faced higher threats of ads appearing next to content featuring violence or offensive language, violent and offensive language accounted for 46% of brand risk in 1H — the first time that figure has dropped to less than half of the total. 

Together, violent and offensive language content represented 52.8% of brand risk for desktop display ads when the U.S. benchmark peaked at 8.6% in 1H 2018. After hovering above 50% through 1H 2020, the two categories decreased significantly, with their portion of brand risk for desktop display dropping to 46% and pushing the U.S. benchmark to an all-time low of 3.5% in 1H 2021. 

Video ad viewability also increased significantly across all environments and most markets globally. 

Italy and Germany topped the rankings for video ad viewability on desktop, at 85.1% and 78.9%, respectively. Italy and France led in mobile web, with viewability levels of 87.4% and 84.6%, respectively. 

But the U.S. remained at the bottom of both lists, with viewability levels of 68.2% on desktop and 67.6% in mobile web. 

CTV ads remained the most viewable format overall, reaching 93.2%. Benchmarks for all other video environments were below  80%.  

Average time-in-view for display campaigns declined across all environments. 

Worldwide average time-in-view for desktop display and mobile web display dropped 2% and 5% respectively year-over-year, while mobile app display declined nearly 25%. 

Desktop display ads remained in-view more than any other format, averaging 22.67 seconds, despite a 0.47 second annual reduction. 

Global ad fraud rates trended higher in desktop environments but  lower across mobile. 

Optimized-against-ad-fraud levels rose by 0.2 points for desktop display and 0.4 points for desktop video, both reaching a 1% worldwide average. 

Ad fraud rates declined 0.1 points for mobile web display and stayed flat for mobile web video, keeping mobile ad fraud rates at less than half the levels on desktop. 

For the report, IAS analyzed trillions of global data events from ad campaigns between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2021.

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