Integral Ad Science Releases Q3-Q4 2013 Semiannual Review and Analysis of Media Quality Across the Display Ad Industry

Viewability and Brand Safety Increased as Suspicious Activity, Ad Clutter and Ad Collisions Decreased

NEW YORK, NY – Integral Ad Science, the leading global provider of actionable advertising intelligence for buyers and sellers of digital media, announced the results of its Q3-Q4 2013 Semiannual Review, which provides key findings on media quality themes across the digital advertising industry. The results highlight significant improvements in media quality, with ad viewability and brand safety increasing, while media quality problems such as fraud, ad clutter and ad collisions decreased.

The Q3-Q4 2013 Semiannual Review leads with a holistic media quality analysis derived from Integral’s TRAQ score. TRAQ helps both buyers and sellers valuate media more effectively based on a number of environmental and exposure factors, including viewability, suspicious activity, brand safety, ad clutter and professionalism. Results showed that ad placements bought directly from publishers had the highest average TRAQ score of 684 out of a possible 1,000 as compared to the average TRAQ Score across channels, which was 625. By ad size, skyscrapers (160×600) rated highest in both TRAQ Score (659) and viewability (55.7 percent in view for at least one second).

Initially reported in the Integral Ad Science Quarterly Report, suspicious activity has fallen to an all-time low, in part due to the increase in industry awareness of fraudulent and bot activity. While suspicious activity levels remained low (2 percent) across directly placed ad impressions, the most significant drop was seen across exchanges, which fell from 20 percent suspicious activity in Q1-Q2 to 13 percent in Q3-Q4, 2013. By vertical, ad supported retail sites had the least fraudulent traffic in Q3-Q4, while auto, energy, entertainment and pharma sites had the highest levels of suspicious activity.

As more media buyers are required to account for viewable ad placements, Integral has seen a steady improvement in viewability across all channels. Compared to Integral’s Q3-Q4 2012 Semiannual Review, viewable impressions increased across directly placed ads from 56 percent to 66 percent, and from 37.6 percent to 47.4 percent across exchanges, according to the proposed 3MS standard for viewability. Directly placed ads also had the highest viewability rate for impressions in view for five or more seconds and 15 or more seconds at 46.3 percent and 27.4 percent, respectively.

Additional findings showed:

  • For directly placed ads, 4.1 percent of impressions were served alongside objectionable content in Q3, falling to 2.8 percent in Q4.
  • Networks and exchanges served impressions next to risky content more frequently, at 7.1 percent and 7.2 percent respectively.
  • Adult content accounted for 67.4 percent of impressions deemed risky across channels in Q4.
  • 84.7 percent of impressions across Q3-Q4 landed on uncluttered pages, with 1-3 ads on the page.
  • Only 1.6 percent of impressions landed on “very high clutter” pages, with 10 or more ads on the page.
  • 12.2 percent of ad impressions collided with at least one other impressions from the same campaign.
  • Ad collision rates were worst across exchanges, with 16.1 percent collision as compared to only 6.4 percent across ads placed directly.

“As both buyers and sellers become more aware of media quality issues and take accountability for fixing industry problems like fraud and viewability, we are seeing the positive effect across channels and verticals,” said Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral. “Those who are taking these issues seriously and factoring them into their media buying decisions are realizing the impact media quality has on performance and ROI.”

To view the complete results, visit:

About Integral Ad Science
Integral Ad Science is a technology company focused on ensuring safe, quality media environments for online advertisers. Employing the industry’s only media valuation platform, Integral Ad Science evaluates the media environment and establishes a TRAQ Score (True Advertising Quality), a first-of-its kind, quantifiable measure of media quality that ultimately benefits every media buyer, seller, publisher and trading platform. TRAQ score supports an advertisers’ ability to plan, execute and target their audience in an environment that reflects their brand image and drives ROI, while simultaneously setting benchmarks for publishers who wish to improve the quality of their content and design to attract premium advertisers. Integral is headquartered in New York with operations in San Francisco, London, Tokyo and Sydney. Learn more at