Study: APAC advertisers still struggling with ads appearing next to unsuitable content

Asia Pacific has a brand suitability of 11.4%, which is a 66% increase in overall brand suitability compared to 2019. Meanwhile EMEA saw a 24% increase in brand suitability and North America saw an 11% increase, according to the recent DoubleVerify Global Insights Report.

The driving force behind the increase of brand suitability rates came from Malaysia which saw a suitability percentage of 27.9%, and the Philippines which saw  a suitability of 15.5%, the trend in Asia Pacific was due to the region's initial focus on reducing ad fraud across websites, apps and connected TV (CTV). Australia (14.7%) came in third in terms of brand suitability rates, followed by Singapore (12.7%) and Thailand (10.5%). Indonesia came in last at 6.2%.

Brand suitability ensures a brand's ads do not appear in the context of/or adjacent to unsuitable content. 

The brand suitability incident rate records instances of ads being served on sites or apps, or adjacent to content that does not meet a brand’s suitability parameters. Meanwhile, the brand suitability block rate refers to the instances when ads are blocked. The overall brand suitability rate is the combination of incidents and blocks.

Asia Pacific and Latin America both outpaced EMEA and North America when it came to the change in brand suitability incident rate and brand suitability block rate. Asia Pacific's brand suitability incident rate saw a 92% increase YoY while the brand suitability block rate increase for the region had a 41% increase. Meanwhile, Latin America's brand suitability incident rate had a 128% increase YoY while its brand suitability block rate had a 94% YoY increase.

doubleverify brand suitability rate changes

According to the report, media verification in Asia Pacific and Latin America is just starting to gain momentum and the initial focus has been on eliminating fraud. Meanwhile, brand suitability strategies are also just starting to be adopted and refined. The brand suitability incident and block rates are expected to decline over time in these two regions, as brands employ pre- and post-bid brand suitability strategies in an effort to increase campaign efficiency.

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Decline in post-bid fraud rate

Asia Pacific also witnessed a 49% YoY decline in post-bid fraud rate, which can most likely be attributed to the increased usage of pre-bid fraud protection. According to DoubleVerify, the steepest dip in YoY rates was in India, where post-bid fraud incidents declined by 81%.

Globally, the post-bid fraud rate across all devices dipped 35% YoY from 3.1% last year to 2.0% in 2020, the report said. The decrease is likely due to the extensive use of programmatic pre-bid avoidance, which prevents fraudulent impressions from being transacted in the first place. Specifically, fraud rate for desktop dipped from 4.8% between 2018 to 2019, to 2.9% between 2019 to 2020. The rate for mobile app also dipped 0.9% to 1.9% between 2019 to 2020. Meanwhile, fraud rate for mobile web saw a 0.1% dip to 1.0% between 2019 to 2020.

doubleverify fraud rate 2020

Although there was a dip in post-bid fraud rate worldwide, fraud follows ad spend, especially within emerging channels such as CTV, where measurement technologies are not widely adopted and demand outstrips supply. According to DoubleVerify, it detected a 161% increase in fraudulent CTV traffic rates in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year. While bot fraud comprised 26% of fraud violations overall, it was responsible for 78% of fraud violations on CTV. With server-side ad insertion (SSAI) being standard in CTV environments, the report explained that bots are able to mirror SSAI traffic to commit fraud at scale.

For desktop fraud in particular, Asia Pacific (33%) and EMEA (23%) both saw a significant uptick in this area, while Latin America and North America both declined by 27% and 42% respectively. Meanwhile, all regions saw a significant decline in mobile app fraud rate - Asia Pacific (-85%), EMEA (-27%), Latin America (-38%) and North America (-28%).

Jump in Asia Pacific viewable display rate

Asia Pacific witnessed a YoY increase in viewable display rate, rising from 54% in 2019 to 59% this year, while video remained at 66%. 

Overall, the report found that video viewability remained relatively stable, although the rate for Malaysia increased by 78%, Vietnam by 31% and Australia by 14%, and mobile app video viewability had an overall increase of 48%. Meanwhile in general, viewability increased from 58% to 63% YoY, with improvements seen across all devices and media types.

When it comes to measurable rate for mobile app video, North America (+48%) lagged behind Asia Pacific, EMEA and Latin America combined (+92%). According to the report, the gap between North America's and other region's video measureable rate may signify that North American advertisers are not demanding that supply partners take necessary actions to enable video viewability.

Jordan Khoo, MD, APAC at DoubleVerify, said brands in Asia Pacific would like to reduce ad fraud, increase viewability, and secure guidance on how to ensure their media investments are brand-safe. “This report shows that while brands in APAC are just setting out on the path of establishing the right parameters for brand suitability and targeting, they are aware they can secure better control over their digital advertising. The focus for the next year will be to ensure that ad impressions are properly authenticated and that media quality and brand suitability is top of mind for advertisers," he added.

Join us on a three-week journey at Digital Marketing Asia 2020 as we delve into the realm of digital transformation, data and analytics, and mobile and eCommerce from 10 to 26 November. Sign up for early bird tickets here!

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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