This evidently is what happened to one marketing company called Blue Chip in a promotional campaign for a company that sells “mom-related products”. (‘The Great Unwatched’, NY Times, p. BU-Y1, 6). When Blue Chip hired a verification service – the agency vice-president Sarah VanHeirseel’s jaw dropped. According to the Times’ account:
“Many of the ads were running in tiny video players, 3” by 2”, on the sites. Some were auto-playing. But disappointment turned to rage when she read the list of domain names where the ads were running; it included pornographic websites.”
But how many of these ads really get read, if any? Vindico, an ad management platform company (cited in the Times’ piece) asserted that 57 percent of two billion video ads surveyed over two months don’t get read. They are deemed “unviewable”. That is 1.14 billion video ads that don’t get viewed. That’s a lot of money wasted but maybe they don’t care.
Now, because of this huge wastage, one has to expect something will change to get more ka-ching than no-thing. As it turns out, the Interactive Advertising Bureau – which manages such duties. The IAB has announced that from the end of this June – get this – a video ad will be considered a viewable impression if 50 percent of the player containing it can be seen for at least two seconds.
According to the Times (ibid.):
“In other words, if you visit a website and scroll down and the top half of the video player is in your view for two seconds – ka-ching. That counts as an impression, even if you didn’t watch the ad.”
But don’t look for that to happen at my end. To me ads will remain a nuisance, certainly the type that intrusively pop up any time and almost in every web space.