Picture: 123RF/SCYTHER5
Picture: 123RF/SCYTHER5

Ad viewability is defined by Digiday as “an online advertising metric that aims to track only [ad] impressions that can actually be seen by users”.

It adds: “For example, if an ad is loaded at the bottom of a web page but a user doesn’t scroll down far enough to see it, that impression would not be deemed viewable. Viewability is designed to let advertisers pay only for the ads that users could possibly see.”

The IAB SA has released a white paper dealing specifically with issues related to ad viewability on digital platforms.

Authored by the IAB SA viewability committee, comprising leaders from SA agencies, brands, publishing and technology specialists, the paper is the second instalment in a three-part series that is driving awareness of brand safety, ad viewability and ad fraud on digital platforms.

It also examines how the ecosystem of brands, publishers, agencies and technology can manage these challenges together.

Read the full IAB SA White Paper

Daniel Courtenay, CEO of MaxAxion, MD of AdJoin, IAB SA publisher council member, led the viewability committee. 

He says: “Viewability is a challenging topic to wrap our heads around, yet, as a metric, it continues to shape the way we buy and sell digital media.

"This paper seeks to assist with the complexities surrounding the subject by offering context for the participants in the value chain as it pertains to the importance of viewability. The paper also highlights a number of considerations the industry might not always have readily available to empower important decisions.”

IAB SA CEO Paula Hulley says: “The collective goal of SA’s digital economy is to grow, which requires investment and an environment that supports good business practice – defined as the ability to evolve in parallel to the rapid changes, opportunities and even threats of modern technology.

"For this reason, the equity and economy of building brands online have taken centre stage. Good online business practice translates into tangible, sustainable impact. And a trustworthy and transparent digital supply chain is key.”

While businesses are accustomed to measuring their return of investment across their advertising and marketing efforts, the dominance of the digital medium has made it more complex to know what to measure when – and how.

When the variables – including viewability – that influence the effectivity of a digital campaign are managed proactively and collectively, the power of digital to deliver business impact increases exponentially. 

Audrey Naidoo, Absa head of digital marketing and an IAB SA brand council member, says: “The IAB viewability white paper offers brands a uniquely South African perspective to understand the mechanics of viewability and forms a sound basis for more informed digital media investments.”

Julian Mountain, Group M digital director, adds: “We are delighted to be involved with the IAB SA to help bring this key element of managing digital media investments to the local industry. From an agency perspective, we believe our clients should invest in digital advertising that is viewable by a human, served in an appropriate editorial environment, underpinned by independent industry certification and third-party verification, and respectful of user experience and privacy.”

Visit the IAB SA website or email hello@iabsa.net for more information.