There is no doubt that brand safety is a topic that continues to grow in importance and relevance in the advertising industry. With a steady increase in extremist content, fake news and unsavoury content on the internet, it is not surprising that brand safety is of utmost importance to most, if not all brands.
This increasing relevance means improvements in this domain are growing fast. Advertising verification technology allows advertisers the ability to address growing concerns around brand safety. In addition to this, verification technically also reveals media environment risks, and offers granular reporting such as viewability and fraud rates. To better understand the trends and the benchmarks that shape today’s digital advertising industry, Integral Ad Science (IAS) has conducted significant research into 2017’s digital media trends, analysing almost 500 billion global impressions to draw valuable conclusions for advertisers and marketers alike.
Viewability across desktop video in the UK
Due to continued improvements in ad verification technology, viewability has increased across desktop video formats throughout the United Kingdom. According to the Media Rating Council (MRC), a video ad impression is “viewable” if the ad is played with at least 50% of its pixels on screen for more than two seconds. Video ads are staying in view for longer across all buy types (direct and programmatic), with viewability increasing by 14.6% between Q1 and Q2 2017. Interestingly, video campaigns bought via direct service see approximately 15% higher viewability in comparison to programmatic buys. This trend is also true when it comes to brand risk, with publisher-direct being almost 3% less likely to run in risky media environments.
Brand risk across desktop video in the UK
It has become apparent that advertisers are increasingly concerned about the detrimental brand impact of risky content. Ad impressions that are flagged on pages that post potentially harmful content contribute to the term “brand risk” – the levels of harm can vary from page to page. Risk is based on seven core content categories: violence, hate speech, illegal downloads, adult content, offensive language, illegal drugs and controversial news. In the UK, brand risk fell by 6% from Q1 2017. The most significant categories of risk in the UK include: illegal downloads, illegal drugs, and violent content. Out of this category, alcohol and adult content decreased the most between Q1 and Q2 whilst hate speech and illegal drugs grew the most proportionately. It is interesting to note that UK desktop video sees the most brand risk, measuring 12.2%, compared to the US (10.6%) and the rest of the world (10.3%).
Brand fraud across desktop video in the UK
Advertising fraud is also a growing concern in today’s advertising industry. Any deliberate activity that prevents the proper delivery of ads to real people is an act of ad fraud. UK desktop video saw reductions in fraud across all buy types, decreasing from 6.4% in Q1 to 4.7% in Q2. This decrease can be attributed to the growing capabilities of ad fraud prevention technology available to advertisers. As predicted, the use of this technology sees significant decrease in ad fraud rates, with non-optimised fraud at 4.7% vs. optimised fraud measuring a mere 0.9% in the UK across desktop video.
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