ComScore (NSDQ: SCOR) has released its first ad-verification tool since acquiring Seattle’s AdXpose for $22 million in mostly stock last August. But perhaps the more interesting piece of the company’s announcement Wednesday was its claim that some 30 percent of ad impressions on the web never actually meet up with an eyeball.
The comScore statement, which was part of a larger study by the online metrics company, wasn’t exactly a disinterested observation. ComScore is hawking a new measurement tool, Validated Campaign Essentials (vCE), that it promises will provide marketers with a data-rich view of the performance of their campaigns from a trusted third-party source.
There is a growing consensus that digital advertising, whose targeting abilities were supposed to eliminate waste in marketing campaigns, is still very much a work in progress. Barely a week goes by without another person bemoaning the lack of reliable measures of ad effectiveness. Advertising and publishing companies have been trying to get ahead of the problem by beefing up their social and behavioral analytics, with deals like Yahoo’s $270 million buy of interclick last year. As these big companies build up their own in-house capabilities, the race is on for comScore to provide even deeper analytics.
Here are some of the other claims in the comScore study:
— Across all measured campaigns, 69 percent of ad impressions were classified as being “in view.” The remaining 31 percent, the study says, were delivered but never seen by a consumer for various reasons.
— An average of 4 percent of ad impressions were delivered outside of their target geographical region.
— 72 percent of campaigns had at least some of their ads running next to content deemed “not brand safe” by their respective advertisers.
The study involved 12 national brands, 3,000 placements, 381,000 site domains and 1.7 billion ad impressions. ComScore plans to release a full white paper from its study in March.