Staff Reporters
Apr 19, 2021

Indonesia poses the world's highest brand risk for digital advertisers

Brand safety concerns have also risen in Japan, which also stands out as the world's worst market for ad fraud on both desktop and mobile-web advertising, according to a new media-quality report from Integral Ad Science.

Indonesia poses the world's highest brand risk for digital advertisers

Indonesia is the riskiest market for brand advertising in both the desktop-display and mobile-web domains, according to the latest report from Integral Ad Science.

Brand risk in Indonesia is twice the global average on desktop and 2.75 times the global average on mobile web, according to the IAS's Media Quality Report (MQR) for the second half of 2020.

Brand risk in Indonesia reached 8.2% on desktop display in H2 2020, compared with the global average of 4.4%, and 16% on mobile web display, compared with the worldwide average of 5.8%.

The report defines brand risk as the percentage of impressions that occur on pages that are "flagged for posing various levels of harm to brand image and/or reputation through association, based on eight core content categories: Adult, Alcohol, Gambling, Hate Speech, Illegal Downloads, Illegal Drugs, Offensive Language, and Violence".

Japan also appears high on the list of risky markets in both desktop display (5.6%, fifth behind Indonesia, Argentina, the US and the UK) and mobile web display (10.4%, second only to Indonesia).

More concerning, both of these number represent significant increases from the H2 2019 report, where Japan's brand risk was 3.2% on desktop and 7.6% on mobile. In fact, Japan saw the second-highest increase in brand risk on desktop display (after the UK) and the highest increase globally on mobile web display. 

Click to enlarge: APAC brand risk rates for desktop display ads (left) and mobile web ads (right).

Ad fraud

Japan also turns out to be the worst market IAS measured for ad fraud on both desktop and mobile platforms, with a percentage of 2.9% on desktop and 2.7% on mobile. The worldwide average was at 0.8% for desktop and 0.4% for mobile web. 

Australia was the only market besides Japan to see a significant increase in ad fraud, particularly for desktop video, which saw an optimised-against-ad-fraud rate of 1.6%, twice the average rate a year earlier.

(All the ad fraud rates discussed above are among campaigns that were run with a fraud-mitigation strategy in place.)

Click to enlarge: Ad fraud rates for desktop display ads (left) and mobile web ads (right).


Most APAC markets trail the global average of 72.1% when it comes to mobile app viewability. Australia was the only APAC market that saw mobile app display viewability rise, from 69.9% in H2 2019 to 73.0% in H2 2020. Mobile app display viewability fell drastically in New Zealand, down 12.4 percentage points to 49.8%—the lowest number globally. IAS called for wider adoption of the IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement Software Development Kit (OM SDK) in the APAC region.

Addressing brand risk

Globally, IAS noted, video impressions also saw increased brand risk worldwide in H2 2020. This correlates to video ad impression volumes, indicating the influence of consumer stay-at-home behaviours, according to IAS, which noted that adult content was the primary driver of increased brand risk across all formats worldwide, often followed by hate speech.

“We’ve measured high levels of brand risk in APAC, especially Indonesia, and we encourage clients to not just monitor but optimise away from unsuitable environments that don’t meet their brand values," said Laura Quigley, SVP APAC at Integral Ad Science. "As we emerge from the challenges of 2020, marketers must remember to regularly update their brand suitability settings. There is a strong pivot in the market towards brand suitability, and contextual targeting is a viable, privacy-compliant solution for driving efficiencies, engagement, and ROI.”


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