Ad Misplacement

Adž|Mis|plažce|ment, noun: describes the phenomen of ad campaign delivery that is in parts or in its entirety inconsistent with any pre-defined specifications

In the recent years, the online advertising market has seen a significant decrease in transparency. Buying mechanisms such as programmatic buying, and specifically Real-Time-Bidding – which, undoubtedly, show great potential for the market – have contributed to depersonalizing the process of ad placement. Another factor to the increase in complexity of the market, lies in the immense number of buy side and sell side vendors and those whose services may be classified in between.

This development has resulted in decreased placements of ads that are both compliant and viewable. Ad misplacement is no longer an exceptional phenomenon.

Some of the most common forms of ad misplacement are the display of ads

  1. in controversial, infringing content
  2. in content that is outside the IO’s scope and potentially damaging to the advertiser’s brand
  3. outside view
  4. outside geographic focus
  5. to non-human traffic sources, such as bots
  6. in banner farms, elements to produce forced or fake clicks, or 1×1 frames that were never meant to be viewable

Accordingly, ad verification, whether it is executed in-house or by external vendors, provides an opportunity to not only expose ad misplacement, but further counteract it.  Ad verification must become part of campaign planning.

For more information on ad misplacement and verification, the iab has published the “Guidelines for the Conduct of Ad Verification”.