During a time of heightened awareness over hate speech and when brands are acutely conscious of the kind of ads appearing alongside their content, an Integral Ad Science (IAS) report has pointed to how different markets have dealt with this hot-button issue. According to the report, Indonesia and Japan pose the highest brand risk globally when it comes to mobile web display, while Australia is the safest for video impressions and Singapore enjoys the lowest brand risk in desktop display.
Marketers seem to have buckled down and begun to deal strongly with the challenge. According to IAS, From H1 2019 to H1 2020, the global brand risk average—the portion of pages scored by IAS as medium or high risk—dropped across all environments and formats. Globally, Japan had the second highest brand risk for desktop display (6.2% in H1 2020) and highest for mobile web display at 10.9%. Indonesia had the second-highest brand risk for mobile web display, at 9.3%.
Increases in programmatic brand risk levels and violence-related content drove the spike in the brand risk results in Japan. Australia, on the other hand, had notable reductions in total brand risk for video impressions—both desktop video (5.0% in H1 2019 to 1.9% in H1 2020) and mobile web video (4.8% in H1 2019 to 1.9% in H1 2020) as more advertisers are applying brand risk measures.
Meanwhile, another bugbear for the industry, ad fraud, continued to be a concern globally and in APAC. According to the report, Singapore registered the second-highest ad fraud globally. Desktop display registered the highest ad fraud rate of all the channels worldwide at 0.8% and Indonesia was the only country in APAC with lower fraud (0.5%) than the global average. Australia and India stood at 1.1%.
However, global ad fraud rates remained exceptionally low when campaigns were protected against invalid traffic schemes. In H1 2020, according to IAS, optimised ad fraud rates dropped between 0.1 and 0.3 percentage points across all devices and environments, as compared to H1 2019, and this could be attributed to the use of pre-bid filters.
In addition, programmatic buys across all channels had lower ad fraud rates (both optimised and non-optimised) as compared to publisher direct buys—barring Japan. Japan experienced an uptick in optimised ad fraud rates for desktop display and mobile web display, making it the only market reporting fraud rates above 2.5%. Relatively modest adoption of anti-fraud solutions and Ads.txt in Japan has left the door open for increased levels of invalid traffic activity, particularly for programmatically transacted inventory.
The IAS report also shows that Programmatic inventory drove viewability at the country level. Japan and New Zealand achieved double-digit year-on-year improvements in mobile web display. The worldwide average of desktop display viewability in H1 2020 crossed the 70% mark and stood at 71.9% (H1 2019 was at 69.2%), Australia took the lead in APAC, registering 73.1% desktop display viewability, with all other countries in APAC hovering behind the global average of 71.9%.
In mobile web display, Australia outperformed every other country in terms of viewability. Singapore came a distant second in the region at 67.9%, marginally above the global average of 67.6%, while Japan’s viewability improved to 51.9% from 34.2% in 2019's first half. Video continues to be the most viewable format around the globe, with viewability rates for desktop and mobile web averaging 75.2% and 73.6% in H1 2020, respectively.
The lockdown and increased time spent on devices also aided in-time views of mobile app displays. Global average time-in-view was highest for mobile app display, rising 4.0 seconds year-on-year to reach 24.2 seconds worldwide in H1 2020. Australia (27.9s) achieved the highest time-in-view average for mobile app display, driven by the strong performance of programmatic inventory. In APAC, Appearing for the first time in this report, Indonesia led mobile web display time-in-view at 25.2 seconds, followed by Australia (18.5 seconds) and Japan (16.9 seconds). All three markets were well ahead of the worldwide mobile web display average.