There are various products in the market that count viewable impressions. Last November, following confusion over differences in results, the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS) asked ABC to deliver its first impartial and independent report on what viewability products do. This new report features products from comScore, DMA Institute, DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science, Meetrics and Moat. All have been tested by ABC for their compliance with JICWEBS Viewability Principles. Updated in July 2015, the JICWEBS industry-agreed principles set minimum benchmarks for product functionality and require that a product can support any viewability metric definition, based on time and percentage in view. This enables the industry to trade using viewable ad impressions on a campaign by campaign basis.

ABC certification is specifically designed to ensure that all products are being tested on a like-for-like basis. This report incorporates newly developed checks and disclosures to demonstrate how each product performs in different behaviour scenarios. As the products work in different ways, it is important to understand how they are configured to get the most out of each one. The ABC report shows that when configured correctly, all six products tested are capable of counting viewable impressions in a number of scenarios, in accordance with the JICWEBS Principles.

Alongside the report, ABC has developed a new, easy-to-use interactive table which is available on its website. Advertisers, agencies and marketers can use this free resource to better understand viewability products, compare their capabilities and make more informed purchasing decisions.

Please click here to view the report and access the interactive table.

Jerry Wright, Chief Executive, ABC, said:

“The industry benefits from an array of products which claim to measure viewability. This can lead to confusion due to the variation in what each product offers. In order to make an informed purchase decision, brands need to know if these products will do what they say they will. By vetting these products to industry-agreed principles, ABC is providing clarity and trust for the benefit of both brands and media agencies.”

Bob Wootton, Director of Media and Advertising, ISBA, comments:

“Viewability will remain a key issue for brands if they are to continue to increase their spending on online advertising. As long as advertising depends on reaching human viewers, success pivots on the ability of an audience to see ads, but there is still confusion over the measurement of this area. ABC’s Viewability Report offers transparency and clarity in what is a very technically complex area and we welcome any advance in understanding in what viewability measurement products are actually delivering.”

Rob Norman Global Chief Digital Officer, GroupM, comments:

“Clearly, the viewability debate is a key element of our call for transparency in digital ad trading. Dealing with discrepancies in the numbers is necessary now, and media buyers and our partners need to have a clear understanding of the differences in the capabilities of these viewability products. We support the JICWEBS principles and applaud the work done by ABC in delivering increased transparency.”

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Technical notes to editors

Built on JICWEBS standards and complementary to the MRC/IAB requirements and recommendations, ABC testing incorporates four elements into the Certification process. The four elements are:

Reporting on percentage of area viewable and time Reporting viewable impressions, including special cases Disclosure of what is measured Measurement and asset render requirements.

Effectively, the elements require the products to take time measurements every 100 milliseconds and the ability to measure both standard and larger formats (i.e. IAB rising star formats) for at least 50% or 30% in-view (respectively) for at least one continuous second.

About ABC

ABC’s stamp of trust underpins the way billions of pounds worth of advertising are traded across the converging media landscape in the UK and beyond.

ABC has two key roles:

To bring the industry together to agree standards that define media measurement and determine industry-agreed best practice. To offer independent audit and compliance services, delivering certification which verifies that data and processes meet the industry-agreed Standards.

ABC is governed by the industry, for the industry. ABC’s board consists of advertisers, media agencies, media owners and trade bodies. They represent the differing interests of the media industry and meet regularly to agree new standards and make strategic decisions as to how ABC is run. With Board consensus, ABC has the ability to provide certification for any platform. As advertising platforms develop, ABC continually innovates and evolves to ensure its portfolio of products and services delivers to the media industry’s needs.

ABC UK was established in 1931 and is a founder member of the International Federation of ABC (IFABC). Richard Foan, Group Executive Director of Communication & Innovation, ABC UK, also chairs and the IFABC Web Standards Group, which works to deliver standards and establish good practice across the world.


JICWEBS is the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards. Established in 1999, this industry‐owned organisation meets 4 times a year to ensure independent development and ownership of standards for underpinning online ad trading. This provides credibility, comparability and transparency, which is particularly important for advertisers who then have a universally recognised set of principles to work with. ABC audits digital media and systems to these industry‐agreed standards and verifies that the principles have been applied.

Representatives on JICWEBS encompass all areas of the digital industry including advertisers, agencies, media owners and technology providers from the following trade bodies: IPA, IPA digital, ISBA, AOP, IAB, and NMA.

Many of the JICWEBS standard definitions have been adopted by IFABC (International Federation of Audit Bureaux of Circulations, members. The IFABC World Wide Web Standards Group reviews these global metrics every year to make sure they remain relevant to the people spending money on online advertising.

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