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DoubleVerify Global Study: Media Quality is Top Issue Affecting Digital Ad Performance; Brand Safety Concerns Persist as Fake News Surges

DoubleVerify June 29, 2017
  • U.S. has the highest digital ad fraud rate among global countries
  • Ad viewability improving slowly at 59 percent (video) and 52 percent (display)

NEW YORK, June 29, 2017-- DoubleVerify (DV), the leading independent provider of marketing measurement software and analytics, today released its Global Insights 2017 Report, finding media quality as the biggest drag on digital ad performance. That’s chiefly because of persistent concerns about brand safety, digital ad fraud and low viewability, according to the global report.

“As demonstrated by the insights in this report, transparency around media quality is the key to unlocking global digital ad performance,” said Wayne Gattinella, CEO and president of DoubleVerify. “Media transparency will become universal truth as marketers demand ubiquitous third-party measurement across all publishers, social sites and programmatic platforms. Without exception, advertisers must have the ability to measure the total quality of what’s delivered, regardless of platform.”

Fake News Surges Directly Correlate with Unpredictable Current Events

Fake news is a global problem with local impact. The report showed a direct correlation between political and unpredictable events and surges in fake news. Among the findings:

  • In the U.S. in March, DoubleVerify blocked over 85 million ads from serving adjacent to inflammatory news, a 250 percent increase since January 2017.
  • The volume of fake news more than doubled in France during that country’s 2017 presidential election.
  • Italy saw a 75 percent increase in fake news around major news days, including those with terrorist or political events.
  • While brand safety issues vary by country, Brazil had the highest violations at 10 percent, and India had the lowest at two percent. The U.S. fell in the middle at five percent.
  • APAC brand safety issues for video ads are the highest at 14 percent compared to other markets.

Infected Browsers Overtake Bots as the New King of Ad Fraud

Bots are no longer the king of ad fraud. The DV report finds that infected browsers have quickly emerged as the new digital ad problem. Instead of bots creating “ghost” browsing sessions, fraudsters are now manipulating a user’s active browser, making it harder to pinpoint and avoid. Key findings include:

  • The U.S. had the highest overall rate of advertising fraud at six percent, and the highest rate among display ads at six percent, compared to all other countries and markets in the report.
  • Video-based ad fraud reached 10 percent, two times worse than display.
  • The lowest fraud rate for display ads was in Latin America at one percent.
  • The highest fraud rate for video ads was in APAC at 13 percent, followed by North America at 10 percent.

Ad Viewability is Slowly Improving; U.S. has Second Highest Viewability Rating Globally

Viewability is an online advertising metric that tracks only those impressions that can be seen.

The report finds that while ad viewability is registering a steady increase in viewable rates over time, there is still progress to be made. The report’s findings include:

  • Rates improved for display and video ads - display viewability improved to 52 percent compared to 44 percent in 2015, and video viewability improved to 59 percent compared to 35 percent in 2015.
  • At 51 percent, the U.S. had the second highest display viewability rating of all countries in the report, behind Japan at 54 percent.
  • Among European countries, Germany led with 49 percent display viewability, ahead of France, Spain and the UK, but trailing the US and Canada.
  • Australia had the lowest display viewability of any country at 42 percent.
  • At just 20 percent, APAC video viewability was rated at less than half that of any other market.

Gattinella said the report reinforces the need to protect brand equity of advertisers.

“Clearly, the industry has some work to do, but the more we embrace tools and standards that support transparency across screens and platforms, the faster we’ll evolve,” Gattinella said. “The goal is to provide supportive metrics that measure the quality of consumer ad engagement – the true indicator of media effectiveness and performance.”

About the Report

DoubleVerify’s 2017 Global Insights Report dives into a market-by market analysis of the challenges facing marketers with insights from the company on the current state of global media quality over the last three quarters. The report includes 165 countries in four markets across North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific (APAC), and Europe / Middle East / Africa (EMEA). It reviewed data in 40+ languages from across more than 1,000 brands.

About DoubleVerify

DV is the leading independent provider of marketing measurement software, data and analytics that authenticates the quality and effectiveness of digital media for the world’s largest brands and media platforms. DV provides media transparency and accountability to deliver the highest level of impression quality for maximum advertising performance. Since 2008, DV has helped hundreds of Fortune 500 companies gain the most from their media spend by delivering best in class solutions across the digital ecosystem that help build a better industry. Learn more at

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