When I began reading today’s AdExchanger article, “Taking Issue with Viewable Impressions,” I expected the author to argue that “in view” is not a meaningful metric. Had my initial assumption been accurate I was prepared to pounce on the comment board to argue that moving to viewable impressions would be one of the best things we did, as an industry, in a long time.
As it turns out Mark Hughes, CEO of C3 Metrics, is very much in favor of utilizing viewable impressions as a metric. Rather, Mark takes issue with the recent comScore report that found about 31% of its 1.7 billion impressions tested non-viewable. Evidence from Mark’s own research suggests that this number is grossly understated.
Regardless of how big the percentage, Mark and comScore are making the point that there is a serious problem with our current digital metrics and their billing model. For a client to pay for an ad that is never seen, in a medium that is fully capable of knowing the difference, is insane. It’s time we fix this through standardized reporting and things like the IAB’s 3MS initiative.
Mark also makes a point that is often overlooked as part of this discussion: How it impacts attribution… Today, a media partner can get a view-through attribution through cookie bombing (placing ads at the bottom of a page with no intent of them being seen but the sole intent of getting view-through attribution). Getting view-through credit for ads that were never even intended to be seen…Ironic, isn’t it?