Robert Sawatzky
Jun 29, 2023

Google disputes claims of misleading video ad placement

In a blog post, Google's global video solutions director suggests a recent report about its video partner network is inaccurate.

A YouTube video explaining how Google's TrueView ads work.
A YouTube video explaining how Google's TrueView ads work.

Google is taking issue with recent research claiming its placement of video ads on third-party networks are ineffective and fail to meet Google's own policy guidelines. In a blog post, Google global video solutions director Marvin Renaud claims the report "used unreliable sampling and proxy methodologies and made extremely inaccurate claims about the Google Video Partner (GVP) network."

The post provided no further details to disprove the study's sampling and methodologies but largely reiterated Google's policies, its commitment to enforce them, and proof of doing so, stating:

We have strict policies that all third-party publishers, including Google Video Partners, must follow. We actively enforce these policies. Our policies prohibit engaging in disruptive, invasive or deceptive ad-serving practices along with other specific practices which some would consider indicate that they are made for advertising. This includes serving ads on hidden browsers, pages with more ads than content or ads that lead to accidental clicks. To give you a sense of how serious we are about this, in 2022 we stopped serving ads on more than 143,000 sites for violating our policies.

Renaud then goes on to explain advertisers have options in placing their ads and can use third-party verification partners like DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science or Moat. 

Much of his post is dedicated to pointing out that most video ad campaigns run on YouTube rather than on the GVP network of third-party sites, but that GVP ad inventory is more than 90% viewable, higher than industry norms.

The recent Adalytics study, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, focused on Google’s TrueView skippable in-stream video choice-based ad format. It claimed that after analysing ad agency clients' ad-buy placement reports from more than 1,100 campaigns and billions of ad impressions, as much as between 42 to 75% of TrueView in-stream ad spend was allocated to GVP sites and apps which did not meet Google's outlined standards, including instances where the consumers' 'skip ad' button was obscured by stacked ads on the interface.

Campaign Asia

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