Survey: Ad Verification on the Rise

The online advertising industry will see $230 million spent in 2011 just to make sure that campaigns run the way they are supposed to. But don’t expect brands to foot the bill in the long term.

That’s according to a survey by Radar Research conducted on behalf of the ad verification firm Mpire. The survey found that the number of companies employing automated technology to ensure their Web ads run on the right sites, at the right time and in front of the right target is on the rise. Those that do employ ad verification said they will spend more than 2 percent of their online media budgets to safeguard their campaigns—amounting to over $200 million, per the survey.

Among the survey’s 145 participants, 70 percent of respondents reported that advertisers and agencies paid for most of that ad verification bill this year. But quickly, verification is expected to become partially ad sellers’ responsibility—as just 56 percent of respondents said that clients or their agencies would underwrite ad verification next year.

Seemingly, ad verification has become a pervasive category in the Internet ad world overnight. As more dollars flow online and the medium becomes more fragmented, brands are increasingly concerned about their ads running alongside objectionable content—or in the wrong geography or against the wrong target. Thus, a slew of ad verification specialist firms have emerged, such as Mpire, Double Verify and AdSafe.

The vast majority of the survey’s respondents—over 80 percent—see paying for ad verification as worthwhile. However, there appears to be a growing level of dissatisfaction among some. Per the survey, 29 percent of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with the idea that ad verification is unreliable.