Programmatic ‘boosts both viewability and ad safety’

bad ad1Just 24 hours after it was revealed that programmatic spend is soaring – despite privacy concerns – a new report claims the technology is also boosting UK digital media quality, increasing viewability and cutting ads being displayed alongside unsuitable or unsafe content.

Integral Ad Science’s Media Quality Report for H1 2020 claims the UK has cemented itself as a leader when it comes to brand risk reduction. Video inventory in particular, achieved lower rates of brand risk when purchased programmatically, with mobile web video programmatic risk falling 1.8 percentage points to 5.6% when compared with the previous six months. For desktop video, the risk of being placed next to contextually dodgy content decreased by 0.6 percentage points to 5.3% in H1 2020.

When compared to the average worldwide risk, UK programmatic buys continued to outperform global programmatic averages across every environment measured – desktop display, desktop video, mobile web display and mobile web video.

UK viewability (albeit the paltry industry standard that 50% of the ad unit is in view for one second) continued to rise in the UK across all formats and environments driven by strong programmatic performance throughout H1 2020, the report says.

Mobile app display inventory bought programmatically saw the biggest jump in viewable impressions. Increased adoption of the IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement SDK saw programmatic mobile app display viewable impressions increase by 5.1 percentage points to almost three-quarters (73.0%) when compared with H2 2019. Desktop video programmatic buys continued to surpass the three-quarter viewability mark at 75.1%.

Generally, ad fraud levels in the UK remained steady throughout H1 2020 with all inventory optimised against fraudulent activity on par, or below the worldwide average. Mobile web video saw the biggest drop in fraudulent activity for programmatic buys, decreasing 0.2 percentage points to 0.4%.

Integral Ad Science EMEA managing director Nick Morley said: “The strong performance of programmatic buys is most likely due to the wide use of pre-bid filters. This data should offer UK advertisers the confidence to further invest in programmatic to drive efficiency for their campaigns across platforms.

“As hate speech and misinformation have come to the fore in 2020, we have seen an increased focus on brand suitability and risk management.

“Advertisers have turned to contextual technologies to ensure that their advertising does not inadvertently appear next to hateful content or fund misinformation, while successfully expanding consumer reach. Couple this with ad fraud levels remaining low when utilising prevention technologies and a continued improvement in viewability, and it’s clear UK marketers are focused on realising efficiencies with their advertising budgets.”

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