SOURCE: Integral Ad Science

Integral Ad Science

May 05, 2014 09:00 ET

Integral Ad Science Releases Q1 2014 Media Quality Report

TRAQ Score Now Used as Targeting Tool in Programmatic Environment

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - May 5, 2014) -  Integral Ad Science, the leading global provider of actionable advertising intelligence for buyers and sellers of digital media, today released its Q1 2014 Media Quality Report, updating the industry on important metrics that affect the performance of every digital advertising campaign -- True Advertising Quality (TRAQ) Score, brand safety, viewability and ad fraud. The report indicates no significant change in the metrics as the industry stabilizes. However, behind the consistent numbers, the report calls out a dynamic change in tactics, most specifically with regard to fraudulent activity.

Integral's quarterly report relies on robust data processed through its industry wide integrations, including the top five demand side platforms (DSPs), nearly all of the major ad exchanges, all agency holding companies and more than 70 of the "Advertising Age Top 100 Advertisers." Each impression is evaluated based on environment and exposure components and receives a TRAQ Score, a holistic metric of media quality, which measures attributes such as ad clutter, brand safety, fraud, professionalism and viewability, providing an all-in-one snapshot of media quality and allowing buyers and sellers to understand the true value of their media.

An analysis of the overall TRAQ Score among direct publishers indicates a slight improvement -- 701 compared with 684 in Q4 2013. This improvement reflects the high in-view rate seen for direct publishers. Networks and exchanges are at an overall lower TRAQ Score of 601 and 578, respectively.

The report shows an increase in ad viewability through direct publishers up to 71.5 percent from 66 percent in Q4 2013. Ads placed through networks and exchanges received a lower "in-view" rate at 47.9 percent and 51.3 percent. With the MRC recently lifting its advisory against transacting on viewable ads at the end of Q1 2014, these numbers are expected to increase over the next report.

Brand safety risk levels were the lowest among direct publishers at 4.1 percent, while networks were measured at 8.6 percent and exchanges at 8.9 percent.

Overall suspicious activity levels are in line with Q4 2013. Exchanges remained the same at 13 percent, networks at 11 percent, down from 15 percent, and publisher direct at 3 percent, up from 2 percent in Q4 2013. Despite the consistent fraudulent levels, Integral's report indicates new practices being adopted by botnet operators.

With more sites being added to "blacklists" on a regular basis to avoid fraudulent traffic, the botnet operators are coming up with more dynamic ways to make up for the loss in revenue. More sites are being generated more frequently, serving display ads as well as video ads with high CPMs. Blacklists are slow to update and the change in frequency gives the botnet operators the ability to continue exploiting the industry until the new sites are added to the blacklists. Only real-time signal detection can keep up with this dynamic method of exploitation. Additionally, low cost human-nets are being more widely employed to launch browsers and have sites frequently refreshed in order to consume ads. On these sites, multiple 1x1 pixels are arranged in a way so that there is no chance of ads being viewed, but depending on vendor technology capabilities, they are measured as viewed and, therefore, are paid for by the advertiser.

With the high industry adoption of the TRAQ Score, Integral is also announcing that advertisers are now able to target quality media in programmatic buying based on its TRAQ score in AppNexus, Google DoubleClick Bid Manager and Turn. Targeting based on TRAQ score allows advertisers to optimize their campaigns, taking both environmental and exposure elements into consideration.

"As our industry is increasingly taking note of media quality issues, TRAQ has emerged as an essential measurement of media quality," said Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral Ad Science. "We are thrilled to enable TRAQ programmatic targeting with great partners such as Turn, AppNexus and Google. Now, advertisers will be able to maximize ROI by programmatically targeting the highest quality media available, at scale."

"While advertisers have embraced programmatic buying for its efficiency and scalability, transparency into the quality of available media is also critical for confidence and performance," said Mark Balabanian, VP of Business & Corporate Development at Turn. "To give advertisers additional controls for programmatic buying, Turn is partnering with Integral to make targeting based on TRAQ scores, available in the Turn Cloud Marketing Platform."

About Integral Ad Science

Integral Ad Science is a technology company focused on ensuring safe, quality media environments for online advertisers. Employing the industry's only media valuation platform, Integral Ad Science evaluates the media environment and establishes a TRAQ Score (True Advertising Quality), a first-of-its kind, quantifiable measure of media quality that ultimately benefits every media buyer, seller, publisher and trading platform. TRAQ Score supports an advertiser's ability to plan, execute and target their audience in an environment that reflects their brand image and drives ROI, while simultaneously setting benchmarks for publishers who wish to improve the quality of their content and design to attract premium advertisers. Integral is headquartered in New York with operations in San Francisco, Chicago, London, Berlin, Tokyo and Sydney. Learn more at

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    Matt Caldecutt
    Blast PR for Integral Ad Science