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£750m wasted on UK mobile ads says new report

Mobile ads are driving most of the growth in digital these days but does anyone actually look at them?

Ads are deemed “viewable” if they meet the IAB and Media Ratings Council’s recommendation that 50 per cent of the ad is in view for at least one second. Which is hardly close attention.

Anyway, new research from ad verification company Meetrics Gmbh claims the rise in mobile advertising spend is contributing to a decline in ad viewability levels.

In the first quarter of 2017, the proportion of UK banner ads served that met minimum viewability guidelines dropped from 49 per cent to 47 per cent – the lowest level for nine months. This suggests around £750 million per year is wasted on non-viewable ads.

Meetrics commercial director UK and Ireland Anant Joshi says:“Declining viewability is partly driven by mobile now accounting for over half of display ad spend but tending to have lower viewability rates than desktop for various reasons.

“Obviously, the smaller screen size can mean more page scrolling and, thus, more chance of ads being missed lower down a page, plus slower network connection speeds can cause ad loading delays. There’s also the legacy issue of desktop ads served on mobile which don’t format properly, despite the use of responsive design.”

Joshi says these issues are compounded by the increasing amount of mobile content consumed via apps, in which ads are more likely to be at the bottom of a page so don’t always get enough attention. He says these “aren’t just UK issues, we’re seeing them across all markets.”

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Germany saw a three percentage point decline in viewability to an all-time low of 55 per cent, Austria dropped a single point to 67 per cent while France rose three points to 60 per cent compared to the UK’s 47 per cent.

Will this make the slightest difference to the desire of advertisers and their media agencies to pour money into mobile. Probably not, there are too many interested parties involved.

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