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From the looks of it, ad fraud, viewability and brand safety may turn out to be big digital ad buzz phrases this year. In a November 2014 study by Integral Ad Science, these emerged as the three most important aspects of media quality among US digital media buyers. One-third of respondents in this group ranked ad fraud as No. 1, while brand safety accounted for 26% of responses and viewability over one-fifth.
The problem, though, was that suppliers didn’t completely agree. While ad fraud came in as the most important aspect of media quality here, too, transparency—the second-to-last response among buyers—landed in second, pushing brand safety to third and viewability to fourth, cited by 18% and 15%, respectively. Integral also found a big difference between buyers’ and sellers’ feelings toward viewability—just 22% of buyers said the Media Rating Council’s standard for display viewability was strict enough, compared with 61% of suppliers.
While suppliers will likely work toward battling online ad fraud this year, they would also be wise to focus on buyers’ other needs—or risk losing trust.
Programmatic is one area of digital advertising where these three concerns are especially prominent. Last year was a big one for programmatic advertising, but November 2014 polling by Undertone unveiled that concerns about brand safety, ad fraud and viewability haunted marketers and agencies who bought inventory programmatically, which will no doubt have an effect on where they choose to buy this year.
US marketers and agencies made it clear that they wanted brand safety most when purchasing programmatically—the No. 1 concern among respondents. Those polled wanted to make sure they were getting their money’s worth, as well: Around one-quarter of respondents from each group cited viewability as a quality concern when purchasing programmatic inventory. Buyers were also aware that programmatic ads are no strangers to bots. Nearly three in 10 agencies were concerned about nonhuman traffic, as were more than one-fifth of marketers.
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