Member blog: Quality and Viewability blog series: What is quality media and why is it important?

In this blog series, IAB Europe’s Brand Advertising Committee and its members explore key perspectives and the latest developments in the drive for a viewable, quality digital advertising environment.

Stevan Randjelovic – Brand Safety Manager, GroupM EMEA

Press headlines about inappropriate brand adjacencies, fraud cases and low viewability levels that have been gracing cover pages of global and local media, for more than a year now, are successfully shining new light on why investing in quality media is important. But what is quality media anyway?

At GroupM, we believe quality digital advertising is viewable by a real human who is in our target audience, served in an appropriate editorial environment and underpinned by independent industry certification and third-party verification, while being mindful of user-experience and privacy.

Why quality over quantity?

There are 3 distinct reasons.

  1. Quality media is more risk averse

By investing in quality media, you are much more likely to mitigate financial risk as you will actually pay for an ad that is viewable by a human who could engage with your products and services GroupM UK and Newsworks conducted a study which covered 84 campaigns, over 398 million impressions and 28,549 filtered survey responses. The study compared impression performance in premium media – defined as a website where consumers have a deeper relationship or affinity with the brand, for example news brand publishers or sports websites – and open exchange media.

The study proved that exposure on premium media is 58% more likely to be 100% in view for at least five seconds, than across open exchange media. Conversely, the study found that 48% of measurable ads on the open exchange were never actually seen.

Premium media also has carefully built or curated content which attracts audiences and readers who trust the publisher. By working with publishers who allow for 3rd party verification to curate appropriate brand adjacencies, advertisers can address reputational risk which threatens to erode advertiser’s brand. Let us not forget that reputation is probably the most valued asset of any brand.

  1. Quality media is more effective

According to the aforementioned GroupM UK and Newsworks’ research, ads in quality digital environments are 98% more likely to be placed fully above the fold, and 273% more likely to prompt a hover from a user. Premium placements also produced stronger response rates across the board with average uplifts of +10.5% for brand awareness, +19.2% for ad recall, +9.7% for brand perception and +10.3% for recommendation intent, therefore driving better return on advertising spend and performance against marketing objectives.

  1. When quality becomes industry baseline, quantity will not matter

As the industry fully embraces the ‘quality-first’ approach and moves towards investing in fraud-free, highly viewable and contextually brand safe environments, what is considered to be ‘premium’ now will become the new normal. The differentiating factor will be the quality of audience and their willingness to share their personal data with publishers and their partners. While this is an important aspect of quality media today, in the post-GDPR world and as time passes by, it will become even more crucial for ad effectiveness as it will further allow targeting of appropriate ads to interested and receptive consumers in a non-intrusive manner.

Finally, we are encouraged by the action the industry is undertaking through individual projects or industry bodies such as IAB Europe. This is even more important as we all know too well that a problem cannot be solved without full participation of all stakeholders. GroupM will continue to promote the importance of quality.


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