Report: 31% of Display Ads Go Unseen

Thirty-one percent of ad impressions are never seen by consumers, according to comScore research based on campaigns by a dozen major brands. They included Allstate, Chrysler, Discover, E*TRADE Financial, Ford, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Kimberly Clark, Kraft, and Sprint.

“The display advertising market today is characterized by an overabundance of inventory, often residing on parts of a web page that are never viewed by the user,” said Magid Abraham, comScore CEO, in a prepared statement. “This dilutes the impact of campaigns for advertisers and represents a drag on prices to publishers. Conversely, some ads below the fold are quite visible and deserve more credit.”

Here are the other key findings from the research, which was collected during Q4:

  • Ads classified as “in view” ranged greatly by site, from only 7 percent up to 91 percent.
  • Geo-targeting seems to be working, as an average of only 4 percent of impressions were delivered outside the desired locale. However, some campaigns saw 15 percent of their impressions land in the wrong markets. In many cases, comScore says, ads were served where the brand’s product wasn’t available.
  • 72 percent of campaigns ran at least some ads next to content deemed “not brand safe” by the advertisers.

Reston, VA-based comScore looked at 3,000 ad placements by the brands, as well as 381,000 site domains and 1.7 billion ad impressions. The researcher used its Validated Campaigns Essentials platform to produce the data.