Fortune 500s Account for 45% Of Ads On Fake And Divisive CTV Channels

Ads from Fortune 500 companies account for 45% of ads on connected TV channels that are either fake or feature brand-unsuitable divisive or false content, according to the 2023 Programmatic CTV Benchmark Report from contextual suitability and targeting solutions firm Peer39.

As a whole, “based on conservative estimates," advertisers are "spending hundreds of millions on low-quality CTV inventory that doesn’t reflect the premium price paid for streaming media,” asserts the report. “Fortune 500 companies are among the most cautious when it comes to safety and suitability — and are still overrepresented with these placements.”

Fake content was defined as channels made up of ad-supported screensavers, white noise generators, game channels, mobile apps posing as CTV and other content that does not fit even the broadest definitions of traditional TV programming content.



Peer39 used semantic technology to analyze the more than 50,000 OTT apps labeled as CTV content, and determined that more than 10,000 of them met the definition of fake CTV content. 

Using its pre-bid ad targeting data tool , the company determined that 6.8% of all programmatic CTV ad calls were originating from fake CTV sites. 

And in a 10-week analysis in which researchers watched subsets of fake and divisive channels, 594 ads from 163 unique advertisers were counted on the fake channels, of which 37% were from Fortune 500 companies.

“Divisive” channels were defined as channels that do fit with the programming content formats of traditional TV, but “lack the editorial oversight of mainstream media” and feature “hyper-partisan political programming and even misinformation — the kind of content that most brands would avoid in their standard suitability strategies on linear TV.”

Peer39 told Media Daily News that sites were classified as divisive mainly on the basis of advertiser clients having specifically mentioned them as sites they want to avoid because they consider them divisive and therefore unsuitable for their brands' ads.

However, the company declined to specify how many or which channels were deemed divisive, or fake, for purposes of the analysis.

Among ads on channels defined as divisive, 49% came from 72 separate Fortune 500 companies during the study period.

Given that 1,200 ads on these channels came from just 318 unique advertisers, the report notes there is a high likelihood of some advertisers having bought multiple ads/impressions.

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