Beyond Ad Measurement and Metrics: In the UK, Marketer Attention Turns to Engagement

Beyond Ad Measurement and Metrics: In the UK, Marketer Attention Turns to Engagement

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WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report examines the measures and performance of digital ad fraud, viewability and brand safety in the UK. It also looks at which metrics are used and valued when it comes to measuring campaign success.

Executive Summary

For most digital advertisers today, measures of brand safety and ad quality are nonnegotiable parts of any campaign. But once advertisers are satisfied that an ad has been served to a real person and seen by that person in a brand-safe environment, they begin to demand more than simple impression-level performance metrics.

  • How much ad spend is wasted in the UK due to fraudulent activity?An extrapolation on Integral Ad Science (IAS) data for the UK suggests that £1.3 billion ($1.7 billion), or 10% of campaign spend, will be lost to ad fraud in 2018. When campaigns are optimized against fraud, the rate plummets to just 1%.
  • What’s the viewability rate in the UK, and how useful is that as a measure? The viewability rate is a measure of how many ads are viewed with at least 50% of pixels in-view for a minimum of 1 second for static display ads, or 2 seconds for video ads. In the UK, it currently stands at 58%. But this remains a very basic metric, and many advertising professionals profess to developing their own viewability standards.
  • Given recent high-profile missteps, where ads have appeared next to unsavory or inappropriate content, how confident can brands be that their ads are being delivered in a safe environment? This is seen as one of the highest priorities among UK marketers. Perhaps, as a result of the spotlight, great strides have been made in policing this, particularly for automated buys.
  • How is digital campaign success currently measured? The simple clickthrough rate is still valued greatly by marketers—more than any other metric.
  • What metrics are brands looking for beyond the impression and click levels? Numerous customized metrics are being used across the industry, from simple time-in-view rates to more complex indices taking the effectiveness of creative into account. However, at their core, there is a need to better understand—and quantify—user engagement.

KEY STAT: Percent of UK publishers who described these three industry challenges to be of “great concern” in 2018: ad blocking (49.0%), brand safety (43.1%) and ad fraud (39.2%).



  1. Putting Digital Measurement Into Context
  2. Beyond the Basics: The Measure of Success
  3. Key Takeaways

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