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Media quality report shows publishers offer best value for advertisers

A week after JICWEBS announced that its auditing body, ABC, has issued kitemarks to tech vendors for meeting industry-agreed standards to reduce the risk of misplacement of ads online, Integral Ad Science Q1 2014 Media Quality Report revealed an increase in the number of impressions at risk of Brand Safety.  The lowest risks to brands were impressions on direct publishers at 4.1% in Q1 2014; although this figure is up negatively from 2.8% in Q4 2013.  Online advertising brand safety risk levels negatively increased on exchanges to 8.9% and on networks to 8.6% compared to the period Q4 2013 which showed that brand safety on exchanges was 7.2% and on networks was 7.1%. Direct publishers also registered a positive improvement to viewability at 71.5% this quarter vs 66% in the previous quarter, Q4 2013.   Suspicious or fraudulent activity – usually non-human views via bots – is at 3% in Q1 2014, vs 2% in the previous quarter. The Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG) comprising representatives from AOP, ISBA, IPA and the IAB launched the UK Good Practice Principles six months ago.  Laying out industry-wide standards for the display market to improve transparency and making it less likely that ads will be associated with inappropriate or illegal content that could hurt an advertiser’s brand reputation. Niall Hogan, UK Managing Director of Integral Ad Science said, “The DTSG is all about reassuring advertisers that their digital investments are being made in environments that are appropriate for their brands.  It’s good to see that publishers direct still represent the least risk for advertisers.  A warning to all of us is that we have seen increases across the board in the number of misplaced ads, so it is clear that the good work started by the DTSG must continue.” In the same research, Integral Ad Science found overall fraudulent activity levels are in line with Q4 2013 findings. Exchanges remained the same at 13%, networks at 11% (down from 15%).
Despite the consistent fraudulent levels, Integral’s report indicates new practices being adopted by botnet operators.  With more sites being added to “blacklists” on a regular basis to avoid fraudulent traffic, the botnet operators are coming up with more dynamic ways to make up for the loss in “their” revenue: including generating sites more frequently; and serving display ads as well as video ads with high CPMs. In a report released separately this week, Integral Ad Science’s AdSafe Firewall product has been independently certified by ABC  JICWEBS have referenced the use of independently certified Content Verification (CV) products in their DTSG Good Practice Principles. Niall Hogan, UK MD Integral Ad Science, 
Integral’s quarterly report relies on robust data processed through its industry wide integrations, including the top five demand side platforms (DSPs), nearly all of the major ad exchanges, all agency holding companies, and more than 70 of the “Advertising Age Top 100 Advertisers.” Each impression is evaluated based on environment and exposure components and receives a TRAQ Score, a holistic metric of media quality, which measures attributes such as ad clutter, brand safety, fraud, professionalism, and viewability, providing an all-in-one snapshot of media quality and allowing buyers and sellers to understand the true value of their media.