GroupM updates viewability standards for digital and mobile advertising

GroupM, the media investment company owned by British advertising and PR firm WWP, has recently launched a set of updated viewability standards to define new guidelines for digital and mobile advertisement measurements. The original viewability standards were released in 2014 in the US.

Among the GroupM supporters who had called for the roll-out are notable brands such as Campbell Soup, Shell, Subway, Volvo Cars and Unilever.

Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Unilever, explained:

“Unilever and GroupM have been at the forefront of the viewability and transparency conversation. We support GroupM’s ongoing assessment in this space to reflect changes in consumer behaviour and available ad formats, and to ensure full accountability and verification.”

Around 50% of digital adverts are currently not viewable presenting a lost opportunity for many advertisers and brands. The GroupM standards require 100% of display pixels to be in view.

For video adverts, the guidelines state that 50% of the video must be played with the sound on whilst being 100% in view.

According to GroupM, video impressions that have met these thresholds increased 18% to 55% since the company rolled out its initial guidance.

“Our ambition is to offer clients the absolute best quality digital media in every market,” explained John Montgomery, Executive VP of brand safety at GroupM. “By working with clients and progressive media and technology partners, we can help shape the digital marketplace for the better, as we have seen in the US.

GroupM now also requires display ads to be in view for at least one second in order to meet its viewability standards. That change is in line with mobile and social media user behaviours, which include quick scrolling actions that can diminish the ad impact.

“It was always our goal to operate around a consistent standard globally and following many months of partner dialogue, now is the right time for us to move forward with these enhanced standards that consider the evolution in social and mobile platforms, as well as user behaviours,” Montgomery adds.

The company is also collaborating with several tech and media brands to develop global viewability standards that suit all advertisers, including Hulu, Spotify, Teads, comScore, DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science and Moat. Brian Benedik, Head of Ad Sales, Spotify, adds:

“Establishing high viewability standards and ensuring they are brought to life in quality ad environments is of paramount importance. We’re proud to stand alongside major industry players like GroupM as they take this action forward.”