Transparency Tops List of Media Planners’ Online Ad Concerns

February 21, 2017

Ad blocking is a concern for media planners, but it doesn’t elicit quite the same level of worry as other more pressing issues, according to a survey from the Digital Place Based Association (DPAA). In its survey of 336 agency planners employed at full-service, media services and digital ad agencies, the DPAA found that the vast majority (86%) are concerned about transparency.

That’s not surprising given recent developments regarding overstated metrics. The desire for improved transparency extends beyond individual properties and to ad tech also: recent research indicates that when managing digital media campaigns, data transparency and access (95%) is the most important criterion considered by buyers when recommending ad technologies to clients.

Close behind, more than 8 in 10 respondents (82%) indicated that they have concerns about viewability, measured as a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale, where 5 represents a high degree of concern. Studies suggest that only about half of desktop display ads are viewable, as are about two-thirds of video ads on the web and in apps (excluding YouTube).

Among other pressing concerns are ad fraud (78%) – evidenced by the MethBot news from late last year (WhiteOps) – and brand safety (76%), brought to light by recent revelations that big brands are unwittingly funding terror groups through their advertising (The Times). Against that backdrop, it’s not too surprising that ad blocking (64%) isn’t quite as much of a problem…

In other results from the survey:

  • Mobile phones are considered the most important screens in video everywhere campaigns today (88%) and in 3 years (90%), while DPB/Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) will rise to rival traditional TV (58%) in importance in the next 3 years;
  • Some 61% of planners included DPB/DOOH in their media plans in the prior 12 months, and 94% said they will be spending the same or more on these channels in the next 3 years;
  • Planners would be more likely to recommend DPB/DOOH in the future if mobile was used to retarget ads delivered on these channels (78%) and to measure DPB/DOOH audiences through tracking devices (75%);
  • The top reason for including DPB/DOOH in media plans is to geotarget by DMA, zip code or hyperlocally (67%).

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