Comscore Study Finds 31% Of Display Ads Never Seen

You knew some of your display ad impressions were wasted, but not exactly how many. Now the first Comscore study of its kind has quantified what percentage of online display ads aren’t even seen by users — an average of 31% and, on some sites, as many as 91%. Sometimes those ads are below the […]

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Money Garbage ShutterstockYou knew some of your display ad impressions were wasted, but not exactly how many. Now the first Comscore study of its kind has quantified what percentage of online display ads aren’t even seen by users — an average of 31% and, on some sites, as many as 91%.

Sometimes those ads are below the fold, so users never even scroll down far enough to see the ad. In other situations, ads are high on the page, but people scroll past them before they’ve had a chance to load.

The study also looked at ads that were delivered outside the intended geographic area. An average of 4% of impressions went to viewers in places that weren’t on the plan, and many of those were delivered in places where the product wasn’t even available. Some campaigns had as many as 15% of impressions delivered to unintended geographies.

More wasted — or even potentially damaging — impressions were delivered beside content deemed “not brand safe” by the advertiser. Seventy-two percent of all of the campaigns studied had at least some ads served on pages that had objectionable content, as defined by the brand.

The Validated Campaign Essentials study used 12 national brands, 3,000 placements, 381,000 site domains and 1.7 billion ad impressions to come to its conclusions. Advertisers included Allstate, Chrysler, Discover, E*TRADE Financial, Ford, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Kimberly Clark, Kraft, and Sprint.


About the author

Pamela Parker
Staff
Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media's Content Studio, where she produces MarTech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land and MarTech. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She's a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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