A recent article in Marketing Mag reported that the global media investment company GroupM is launching new viewability standards in Canada to increase the value of digital display and video ads for buyers.

The new viewability standards stipulate the following:

  • For display ads, 100% of an advertisement must be viewed for at least 1 second to be counted as an impression. Currently, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) requires just 50% of the ad’s pixels to be viewable.
  • For video ads, the new standard requires ads to be user-initiated (rather than auto-played) and to be viewed with sound. Moreover, at least half of the video must be watched for it to count as an impression.

GroupM will also now require that media publishers verify/validate impression numbers with third-party specialists (and ensure that all views are from human users, not bots).

Why new viewability standards are so important

Media buyers in Canada will no longer have to pay for false impressions.

According to GroupM’s chief trading officer, Neil Johnston, about one-quarter of the impressions paid for using the industry’s older standards will no longer be classified as viewable. Others have put the number of unviewed ads at more than half.

This translates into savings of at least 25% for buyers of Canadian ad space!

We’re confident that these new standards will greatly benefit Canadian media advertisers. Many major media players are already tweaking their website designs to accommodate the new standards: including the likes of The Globe and Mail, Yahoo, and more.

Some media companies are way ahead of the game: our partner Quebecor (and its subsidiary TVA Group) improved their viewability standards two years ago, resulting in enhanced advertiser confidence in their digital assets. Google also claims to guarantee 100% ad viewability on its network.

All in all, great news for media buyers!

For more information about digital advertising in Canada, check out our digital advertising capabilities or browse through our media products portfolio.