It was 2010 that “ad verification” became a hot topic. Back then, a number of tech providers formed to satisfy the growing demand to prove safety online. At the end of 2010, Undertone participated in an AdSafe audit that found over 99% of our inventory “safe.” Ad networks were dozens of times more likely to serve ads into an unsafe environment, and exchanges were found to be even more dangerous. Undertone even beat out publishers who, in aggregate, scored 95% safe – and this is because Undertone is extremely selective about the pages we’ll use from each publisher. We considered doing an updated audit in Q4 2011 but decided that verifying our inventory as safe wasn’t enough. We needed to take it a step further.
Quality and safety have always been at Undertone’s core. We were the first and remain the only company to stand behind the quality of its inventory with a money-back guarantee. We knew our inventory was superior because of our deep publisher relationships, but we wanted to prove it through a reputable third party.
Enter Trust Metrics.
We found that Trust Metrics was socializing the same view as Undertone (Andrew Lerner, CEO of Trust Metrics, penned this column on Mediapost summarizing their view, and the problem that they solve, quite nicely). And the more we learned as we dug deeper, the more convinced we were that conducting a Trust Metrics study was an effective way to demonstrate our quality.
- Excellent (81-100)
- Good (61-80)
- Satisfactory (41-60)
- Limited (21-40)
- Poor (0-20)
This benchmark study revealed that only 8% of sites fell in the top two categories, ranking Good to Excellent.
Comparatively, when Trust Metrics ranked Undertone’s inventory across its Preferred Publisher Portfolio™ 86% scored Good to Excellent – a 10x improvement over the industry benchmark! Additionally, they found that 7% of the benchmark was Poor while Undertone’s inventory included 0% rated as Poor.
Trust Metrics Research
|Source: Trust Metrics, December 2011 Q4 Quality Report|
We’re proud of our focus on quality and safety. The previous AdSafe audit was validation of Undertone’s commitment to safety. And now, we’re excited to have yet another independent party prove our commitment to both quality and safety.
Since proving the quality of our sites, we’ve gone on to show just how much it matters for brands by comparing branding metrics on Undertone to industry benchmarks. But that’s a story for another day. Say tuned.