IAB Australia set to release white paper in bid to bring clarity to digital ad viewability debate

The Interactive Advertising Bureau will release a white paper next month in a move it hopes will finally bring clarity to the vexing issue of digital ad viewability.


A Viewability Taskforce has spent the past few months working on what IAB Australia described as a “consistent definition” of viewability.

It will also extend its focus to a broader range of ad effectiveness measures “over the coming months”.

The issue of viewability has been a constant source of debate in Australia, with GroupM and IPG Mediabrands both distancing themselves from the guidelines drawn up by the IAB in the US in 2014.

Current global IAB standards suggest 50% of a display ad must be visible for one second for it to be deemed “viewable”, rising to two seconds for video.

Large format display ads must have 30% of pixels in view for one second.

But those regulations have not been sufficient for some major media agencies. At the start of the year, GroupM struck agreements with nine publishers which said “key placements” must be 100% viewable or else the advertiser will not pay.

In a GroupM-produced video discussing viewability, chief digital officer John Miskelly said the IAB and Media Ratings Council guidelines “do not go far enough”.

And late last year IPG Mediabrands launched ‘Project Quality’ which aims to achieve 100% viewable and fraud-free online advertising across its digital media bookings.

IPG said the move came in the “absence of industry consensus on how to tackle issues of viewability and fraud”.

“In that void, it felt like we had to draw a line in the sand,” said Victor Corones, managing director of Magna Global, which handles the trading on for IPG Mediabrands.

IAB Australia said the Viewability Taskforce will help “provide guidance and education around viewability for the Australian market”.

Vijay Solanki said Le Roy's broad experience would bring trust to the role

“Thanks to the broad range of participants our Taskforce will provide the industry with a diverse and robust perspective on viewability and associated metrics,” IAB Australia chief executive, Vijay Solanki, said.

The bureau added that the white paper will enable publishers, agencies and advertisers to have “more informed conversations about what they are buying or selling”.

While the focus of the white paper will be on viewability, IAB Australia said it will also explore other metrics “that should be considered as part of assessment of digital activity”.

“The paper will help the industry understand how viewability measures fit in with other campaign metrics,” it said.

The taskforce contains representatives from Yahoo!7, News, Telstra, Inskinmedia, Nine, Tube Mogul, Mediamotive, Fairfax, Google, Ikon Communications, Integral Ads, OMD, Videology and Moat.


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