ANA: Almost All Marketers Want Third-Party Verification of Digital Ad Views

Big Two Holdouts, Facebook and Google, Already Have Relented

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Almost all marketers want third-party verification of whether their digital ads were actually seen by people, according to a survey by the Association of National Advertisers.

Credit: Association of National Advertisers

The survey among 154 respondents conducted last summer but released today, found 97% believe all digital media owners' inventory should be measured by a third party. It also found 90% of respondents aren't fully confident that their digital working media meets industry viewability standards. A somewhat smaller 61% said they would shift their spending elsewhere if a digital media owner did not provide third-party measurement.

It's a battle that's already been largely won, though implementation remains a work in progress. Facebook and Google, which collectively account for around 60% of the digital ad market according to Pivotal Research Group estimates, were the major holdouts against third-party verification but recently have relented to allow third-party measurement.

Impartial measurement has been a growing issue since the Media Rating Council, backed by the ANA and other industry groups, adopted viewability standards for online display and video ads last year. The MRC quickly began accrediting services to verify viewability under those standards, with more than 20 accredited so far, including one from Google.

Facebook, along with Google's YouTube, initially resisted allowing third-party firms to verify viewability. Facebook has since said it will allow Moat to verify viewership of video ads initially and ultimately extend that to display and Instagram ads. Google earlier this month said it will allow third-party verification on YouTube, starting with Moat early next year and eventually including Integral AdScience, ComScore and DoubleVerify.

"During a time of intense scrutiny on transparency and accountability, it's vitally important that all digital media owners measure viewabilty by an independent third party, consistent with industry standards," said ANA CEO Bob Liodice in a statement.

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