UK media quality impacted by unprecedented year | Ad Tech | News | Rapid TV News
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The latest Media Quality Report from digital ad verification firm Integral Ad Science (IAS) has found that amid what it called turbulent times, UK brand risk increased across all media environments in the second half of 2020.
IAS ad quality 19 April 2021
The H2 2020 Media Quality Report highlighted brand safety, ad fraud, and viewability trends across display, video, mobile web, and in-app advertising. It analysed trillions of global data events from ad campaigns that ran between 1 July and 31 December 2020.

The study found that brand risk on desktop display rose 3.2 percentage points from H2 2019 to reach 5.8%. This said IAS represents a level of risk the UK has not seen since 2017 – a year defined by tragic domestic events and brand safety scandals. Brand risk on mobile web display rose by 2.3 percentage points when compared year-over-year (YoY), reaching 6%. Brand risk on video formats increased at lower rates than display - desktop video increased to 6.7% and mobile web video hit 8%. This risk level was still lower than its peak of 11.6% back in H2 2018.

Viewability within the mobile-app display environment increased 4.2 percentage points YoY to 72.9% in H2 2020, increasing the ability for digital ads to be seen by consumers. This suggested IAS was likely a result of wider adoption of the IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement Software Development Kit (OM SDK). However, viewability levels slightly decreased across other media environments due to more digital content consumption, increased demand and constraints on high quality ad inventory during the busy holiday period.

Overall, UK display inventory still ranked above global averages. Desktop display viewability in the UK was 71.3% compared with the global average of 68.8% and mobile web display is 67.8%, versus the global average of 62.9%.

With consistent use of anti-fraud technology, ad fraud levels in the UK decreased in all digital ad environments throughout H2 2020, except for desktop video, which increased by 0.1 percentage points. All inventory optimised against fraudulent activity was on par or below the worldwide averages of 0.8% for desktop display and video, 0.4% for mobile web display, and 0.3% for mobile web video in H2 2020. In contrast, advertising campaigns that did not use optimisation tools and strategies encountered fraud levels up to 11 times higher than those optimised against fraud.

The H2 2020 Media Quality Report also found that as consumers have spent more time with digital content across 2020, the average time that ad content is in-view increased, providing UK advertisers , said IAS, a greater opportunity to engage with their audiences. Time-in-view increased YoY for desktop display from 20.11 in H2 2019 to 21.34 seconds in H2 2020, and for mobile web display from 14.84 to 15.68 seconds over the same period.