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BizReport : Advertising archives : January 18, 2012

comScore: 31% of display ads wasted

A new study from comScore highlights what every marketer already knows - some display ad impressions are wasted. However comScore, aided by new software, has quantified how many aren't being seen.

by Helen Leggatt

comscore.gifUsing new measurement software called "Validated Campaign Essentials" (vCE) comScore is now able to provide advertisers with an analysis of which ads in an online campaign are viewed by Internet users. The software only tracks display ads on computers, not on smartphones or tablets, and for ads to be deemed "in-view" they must be viewable for at least one second.

The initial results show that, on average, 31% of online display ads aren't seen by users. Why? Sometimes the ads appear "below the fold" and users don't scroll down the webpage far enough to see them. Other times ads that are placed "above the fold" are scrolled past before they have had a chance to load.

As for geo-targeting of display ads this appears effective with, on average, just 4% of impressions wasted on folk that aren't in the right geographic location or where a product wasn't even available. This figure rose to 15% in some analyzed campaigns.

Bad ad placement is also tracked. Inappropriate display ad placements were evident in almost three-quarters (72%) of campaigns. Apart from a wasted ad these could also do damage to a brand.

"It is critical that we can understand the extent to which ads delivered on our sites are actually viewed by the intended audience. This type of insight allows us to improve our relationships with consumers and our advertising partners," said Scott McDonald, Senior Vice President, Research and Insights, Conde Nast.

Tags: ad impressions, ad metrics, advertising campaign, display advertising, geotargeting, online advertising

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