MediaWorks moves to sell only 'viewable' digital ads

MediaWorks moves to sell only 'viewable' digital ads

MediaWorks has announced it is moving to sell digital banner ads only when they've been viewed by a user, a move the company says is a first for a New Zealand publisher.

In some cases, buyers of online advertising have found themselves paying for ads that are loaded when a user visits a web page, even though the user hasn't seen all the ads because they haven't scrolled down far enough.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau, or IAB, a group that develops industry standards for digital advertising, considers a display ad such as a banner to be "viewable" when at least 50 percent of the ad has been on a user's screen for at least one second.

Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported on differences in opinion within the advertising industry about what should constitute a "viewable" advertisement.

MediaWorks announced this week it is guaranteeing all banner ads sold across desktop browsers, smartphones and tablets will meet the IAB standard. The company says it is the first New Zealand publisher to make this commitment.

"Our in-stream video ads are already viewable by the nature of the viewer watching content on screen, but until now we haven't been able to offer this same benefit for all banner ads delivered," says John-Paul Randall, MediaWorks Head of Digital and Ad Strategy.

MediaWorks says its move follows feedback from the industry about viewability of ads, and the change is being implemented at no extra cost to customers.

The viewability of ads will be verified by MediaWorks' third-party digital ad server, DoubleClick, which is a subsidiary of Google.