In-Depth Study of Online Ad Delivery


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In the cVE Charter Study from ComScore, involving online advertising campaigns for 12 national advertisers, we are seeing that a large number of ad campaigns are not going to plan and the quality of ad delivery is varying greatly. The study evaluated the effectiveness of ad delivery based how and where the ads were placed including whether or not the ads were in-view, to the target audience, in a brand friendly environment, and free from fraud.


  • Ad Placement: 31 percent of ads were not in-view, meaning they were never being seen by the audience.
  • Targeting audience based on interest over simple demographics (sex, income) has proven effective. 37% of ads delivered reached audiences with known interests relative to their brand.
  • Advertisers must keep a watchful eye on the type of content their brand is being associated with. 72 percent of the campaigns felt their ads were being delivery alongside objectionable content.
  • Fraud is still a concern. .16% of ads were delivery to non-human targets from the IAB spiders and bots list. Though this number is low, unknown bots and more sophisticated fraud methods were not considered, making this kind of threat difficult to quantify.
  • The findings showed that neither ad visibility nor the quality of the audience reached is reflected in the price of digital advertising. Advertisers need to do their own research in finding the best ad buy for their dollar.

These findings outline the necessity of in-depth campaign management throughout the entire length of an ad campaign.

It also demonstrates the need for a "viewable impressions" measurement when calculating the cost for advertising. Too much money is going out the window on ads that are not even being seen by customers.

“With 31% of vCE Charter Study impressions not being viewable, it is now abundantly clear just how important in-view measurement is to online campaign validation,” said Linda Abraham, comScore CMO. “In order for any digital GRP metric to be relevant in the online space and to be cross-media comparable, it must include validated ‘viewable impressions’ in its calculation. While audience and geographic validation are crucial – and should not be ignored – if a digital campaign rating does not also take into account whether or not the ad had the opportunity to be seen, then the metric fails to deliver a true apples-to-apples comparison to all other media.”