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Will Mobile Ad Platform Accreditation Curb Wasted Ad Spending?




logo-iadWith so much going in the Internet and social media space sometimes it feels like you just missed something. After looking at this article from AdAge I had that feeling. It looks at the problem of waste that many advertisers are experiencing in the mobile space and how an accreditation process could give advertisers some solace that what they are paying for is what they are actually receiving.

The article says

The debate over the value of mobile advertising typically focuses on what effect, if any, it has on brand lift, sales and getting consumers into stores. But advertisers have been wasting money on mobile in the literal sense because a significant portion of the ads they’re paying for never properly display on devices.

Now, networks and publishers are being pressured to more accurately report how well they deliver ads in an attempt to legitimize the industry and increase mobile-marketing spending.

When you use the words ‘legitimize the industry’ that gives you a real good look into just how broken things may be. So who has gone through this process? Apple.

Apple’s iAd earlier this month became the first major mobile-ad network to be fully accredited by the Media Ratings Council as adhering to the standards the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Mobile Marketing Association jointly released earlier this year.

During the auditing process, iAd demonstrated accurate reporting of impressions, taps, tap-through-rate, visits, views, views-per-visit, average time spent, conversions, unique devices and unique device visits. Apple said its mobile ad network is more streamlined than others and that it only charges for ads that fully render on users’ screens.

This process is not cheap with a price tag of around $100,000 but right now a few other platforms are going through it including Google’s DoubleClick.

The issue is not just for the ad servers either. Publishers are seeing their culpability in this problem.

The Weather Co.-which had the 14th most unique mobile visitors in the U.S. in March, according to ComScore-said it compensates advertisers for any discrepancies by “overbooking,” or offering them more ad inventory than they paid for with the understanding that some may fail to render. The company also said it improved its discrepancy rate from more than 20% to less than 10% after it switched to using DoubleClick for Publishers Premium for its ad serving last fall.

Weather Co.’s VP-digital monetization echoed the need for ad counting to be standardized.

“There’s no agreement about how to measure it, and that’s just not fair to anybody,” he said.

Once again our industry promotes the measurability of online advertising down to the smallest piece of data but comes up short in delivery. At some point people will get fed up with the hype v. reality chasm that sometimes exists. But with mobile growing so rapidly and change happening virtually every day maybe everyone will be too busy to notice?

Your take?