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Marketers should not pay for unviewed ads from 2018, says AANA

Advertisers should not pay for any ads that are not viewable from January 2018, according to a discussion paper released today by the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA).aana-logo-less-white-space
And in the meantime, marketers should expect 70% of the ads they buy to be in view. Any less and the “advertiser should seek recompense”, the AANA said.

The recommendations were contained in a paper designed to spark “industry-wide discussion” on viewability and to provide marketers with a guidance on how to address viewability issues.

“Ad viewability was identified as a key issue for AANA members, their ambition to have a clear understanding of what is driving outcomes in digital campaigns,” said Anneliese Douglass, AANA chair of the media reference group and Unilever’s ANZ head of media and PR. “This paper also seeks to inform marketers about viewability and to equip them to take forward a conversation with their media partners.”

The paper sets out a timetable that in 14 months time, advertisers should only pay for ads that are viewable.

The AANA said that in this “year of transition”, measured impressions should be set at a 70% viewability rate. If that target is not met, publishers should “make good” with additional viewable impressions until the 70% rate is met.

“All make good should be in the form of additional viewable impressions, not cash, and should be delivered in a reasonable time frame,” the body said in its discussion paper.

The AANA said it recognised the the need to move towards its January 2018 target “in a phased manner” in line with publishers’ technology developments.

AANA CEO Sunita Gloster

AANA CEO Sunita Gloster

“Similarly, the the rise of mobile use…is slowing the delivery of some ads and phone screen sizes make it harder to accurately determine what will be in view as the ad is served.”

AANA chief executive Sunita Gloster said: “In an ideal world all ads would be viewable. It would provide a level playing field and point of comparison between the performance of different digital media and against other forms of media.

“However, the AANA recognises that the Australian market needs to move towards this goal in line with technology developments on the publishers’ side. We also recognise that each business will be at a different stage in this journey, with different levels of resource available to address the challenge.

“It comes down to what is the right approach for their business.”

The AANA backed the current IAB and Media Ratings Council standards that stipulate 50% of an ad must be in view for one second for it to be deemed viewable.

It argued that while “not ideal” for advertisers and acknowledged that advertising creative is “not designed” to be only 50% in view, “we believe it is the right starting point”.

The release of the paper comes a day after the Interactive Advertising Bureau said a Viewability Taskforce would soon launch a white paper in an attempt to bring clarity to the issue.

The IAB said it wants to provide a “consistent definition” of viewability.

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