Unseen banner ads cost brands £606m during 2016

The UK online advertising market may be continuing to grow at breakneck speed but it is still suffering the same old problems, according to the latest quarterly viewability benchmark report, which shows that advertisers wasted about £606m on banner ads alone last year.
So says ad verification firm Meetrics, with only 49% of banner ads served in Q4 meeting the IAB and Media Ratings Council’s recommendation that 50% of the ad was in view for at least 1 second.
This was the same figure as Q3, which itself was a marginal improvement on the 47% in Q2, but a noticeable drop from the 54% viewability level in Q1 2016.
“Despite the ongoing attention and initiatives focused on addressing viewability, things just aren’t really improving,” said Anant Joshi, Meetrics’ director of international business. “Yes, you can argue viewability has stabilised over the last couple of quarters and is marginally up on 6 months ago but the reality is viewability levels are lower than a year ago and over half of ads served still aren’t viewable.”
The UK remains significantly behind other European countries in terms of viewability levels: Austria is at 68%, Germany at 58% and France at 57%.
“There’s a lot of energy and focus going into measuring viewability but nowhere near enough on building on that insight and proactively optimising for viewability, particularly on programmatic campaigns,” said Joshi. “For example, it’s very easy to extract a list of under-performing domains – be it viewability or view time – and exclude or de-list them from any automated buying platform. This means buying from the higher performing domains can be increased. A greater focus on simple steps such as these would see viewability rise significantly in 2017.”

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