GroupM rolls out viewability standards globally

GroupM, the media investment management group of WPP, has announced the global rollout of viewability standards to support continued investment in digital media. Viewability is a measure of a digital ad’s opportunity to be seen, and since 2014 which GroupM claims to have championed.

Key clients are supporting the demand for enhanced viewability and measurement in digital advertising, including Unilever, Campbell Soup Company, Church & Dwight, Shell, Subway and Volvo Cars. Unilever partnered with GroupM in 2014 when the company’s viewability standards were originally announced in the U.S.

Media and technology partners supporting the viewability effort include Hulu, Spotify, Teads, comScore, DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science and Moat. GroupM is in active dialogue with all digital media partners worldwide about viewability measurement and delivery to the now global standards.

Viewability considers the area of the ad that can be seen within a browser or application (in percentage of pixels) and the duration of time that the pixels remain in view (in seconds). According to global verification providers, as much as 50 percent of all digital ads are not viewable, representing a significant accountability risk to advertising clients.

To-date, the U.S. has seen the most focused attention on viewability. In 2014, GroupM announced trading standards for an ad to count as a payable impression. The standards required that 100 percent of the pixels in a display ad must be in view (for any amount of time); and for video, that 50 percent of the video must be played at the user’s initiation, with the sound on, while 100% in view. At the time, only 18 percent of video impressions met GroupM’s standard; by mid-2016, 55 percent of impressions met the standard.

GroupM also announced an evolution of its standards and plans for studying the performance of video ads in social and newsfeed environments. The requirement that an ad must be 100 percent in view remains foundational to GroupM’s standards for all ad formats. With user behaviors in mobile and social newsfeed environments, where they sometimes scroll too quickly to see ads, GroupM has strengthened its standard and now requires a one-second duration for the time a display ad passes through the viewable screen.

GroupM, its clients and partners will also study the performance of social and newsfeed video, measuring more than 100 data points with DoubleVerify, Moat and IAS across Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Snapchat to identify which are most meaningful in evaluating different ad formats in these social platforms and in mobile environments. This analysis will be the foundation for the development of future social and newsfeed video duration metrics.

“Our ambition is to offer clients the absolute best quality digital media in every market,” said John Montgomery, executive vice president, Brand Safety. “By working with clients and progressive media and technology partners, we can help shape the digital marketplace for the better, as we have seen in the U.S. It was always our goal to operate around a consistent standard globally and following many months of partner dialogue, now is the right time for us to move forward with these enhanced standards that consider the evolution in social and mobile platforms, as well as user behaviors.”

Source: Brand Equity

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