Global ad fraud rates improving: report

Canada was the only market to witness a decrease in brand risk and lower shares in the alcohol and illegal drugs categories.
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Integral Ad Science has released its Media Quality Report for the second half of 2020, showing that  marketers adoption of tools to measure and prevent fraud is improving global ad fraud rates.

In its inaugural year being considered in the data set, connected TV topped the video viewability rankings worldwide.

More specifically, according to the report, CTV viewability reached 93.3% globally, while mobile app video, another new metric for H2 2020, followed closely at 92.6%. Mobile web video viewability followed at 73.7%. Display ads in mobile apps also had a big boost in viewability, growing by 7.1 percentage points in Canada and 8.1 in the U.S.

IAS reportedly analyzes trillions of global data events from ad campaigns that ran between Jul. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020. In turn, the MQR leverages that database to provide a barometer against which ad buyers and sellers can benchmark the quality of their campaigns and inventory.

Tony Marlow, chief marketing officer at IAS, in the release, said this pointed to a clear opportunity around contextual advertising in CTV. “Right now, every impression counts and ensuring ads are viewable by real people in the environments that align with campaign objectives has never been more important.”

“As marketers evolved their strategies in the second half of 2020, our latest MQR report shows greater adoption of tools that mitigate ad fraud and brand risk around digital content,” Marlow said, leading to an overall improvement around global ad fraud rates.

At the country level, Japan and Australia were the only markets to witness significant increases in ad fraud rates. Japan experienced increases in optimized-against-ad-fraud rates for display impressions in both desktop and mobile web environments. Australia also witnessed an increase, particularly for desktop video, which saw an optimized-against-ad-fraud rate of 1.6%, twice the average rate a year earlier.

Comparatively, global non-optimized-against-ad-fraud rates reached 8.6% for desktop display campaigns. In other words, campaigns for which optimization tools and strategies were not present tended to encounter levels of fraud up to 11-times higher than those optimized-against-ad-fraud.

While mobile web video remained the safest inventory when optimized against ad fraud – steady at 0.3% for all of 2020 – it was the highest for global brand risk at 8.6%. The data reflects hate speech content more than tripled its share of brand risk for desktop video in the U.S., in tandem with the presidential election, while adult content doubled its share year-over-year.

The U.S. registered one of the largest increases in brand risk for desktop video content, up 2.9 percentage points, when compared to H2 2019, while Canada was the only market to witness a decrease in brand risk and lower shares in the alcohol and illegal drugs categories, driving brand risk down 2.4 percentage points year-over-year to 5.4%.

IAS recently announced a partnership with Xandr to layer IAS’s contextual targeting and avoidance capabilities within Xandr’s self-service Invest DSP.