Brand safety risks increase for Australian advertisers, says IAS

Australian brands are facing increased brand safety risks with their online advertising, with publishers reporting more violent content, says marketing analytics service Integral Ad Science in their Media Quality Report.

The report found that while Australian brands are less exposed to risk overall compared to their US counterparts, threats to brand safety increased from 7.2% to 8.8% compared to the previous half year.

In the report, the IAS claimed nearly four in 10 impressions served on unsafe web pages in Australia appeared alongside violent content, primarily from premium publishers reporting stories containing violence.

The good news was Australian online advertising’s viewablity – using the Media Rating Council’s definition of at least 50% of an ad’s pixels being on screen for at least one second after the ad has rendered – has increased from 52.6% in the first half of 2017 to 57.2% in the second half.

Globally, IAS reported desktop ad fraud rates running at 7% with mobile at 12.7%. Sites that were optimised against fraudulent behaviour using measures like ads.txt dropped to 0.4% on both desktop and mobile.

With brand safety, the IAS found Australian brands were most at risk from violence, adult themes and offensive language, mainly due to coverage around the topics by premium publishers.

The report struck a positive note on both brand safety and fraud noting: “Advertisers have a reason to be optimistic. Advances in verification technology give them control to choose acceptable risk levels for their brand across different categories.

“Furthermore, programmatic pre-bid optimisation allows brands to avoid running within risky content before the bid, ultimately reducing wastage. This is especially valuable as programmatic continues to become the preferred solution for digital advertisers seeking scale.”

James Diamond, IAS’ ANZ managing director said about the local results: “The findings from our H2 2017 Media Quality Report highlight that with industry awareness and efforts, Australia has improved significantly in viewability.

“Brand safety continues to fluctuate with the news cycle and it’s important advertisers remain vigilant. In 2018, expect to see increased effort across the digital supply chain to address advertisers’ concerns around viewability and brand safety.”

Diamond added that IAS forecasts that advertisers’ focus on increasing brand safety and media quality will create supply bottlenecks and increasing rates for reputable publishers.

“The focus on media quality will exacerbate supply challenges, capping the availability of high-quality digital impressions, and leading to CPM increases in the market.”


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