ABC Survey: Internet Ad Revenues Up in 2006, But Advertisers Long for More Accurate Measurability
Even as Internet advertising revenue soars, many corporate advertisers and ad agencies believe their online ad impressions may have not been counted properly, according to a new survey from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, as less than half of ad agency respondents and one-third of advertiser respondents said they were confident that their companies’ online ad impressions were measured and reported accurately.
According to the study, "Online Accountability: Gauging the Growing Demand for Audited Web Metrics," approximately 84 percent of respondents said they believe that verification of online advertising activity by an independent third-party auditing firm will become increasingly important over the next three years. More than two-thirds said they would prefer to advertise on Web sites that are independently audited.
ABC released its recommendations for addressing the growing demand for transparency online in a statement that recommends Web sites consider regular audits of site traffic. In addition, ABC recommended that sites conduct annual audits to evaluate the processes and technology in place for order entry, ad delivery, measurement, and billing. In addition, ABC also said advertisers and agencies should encourage the Web sites with which they advertise to be audited by an independent third party and provide certified numbers according to guidelines established by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Other key findings include:
- 83 percent of respondents plan to increase online ad spending in 2007; more than half expect double-digit budget increases.
- Respondents indicated two areas where audited Web metrics are useful: 91 percent said it’s important to audit ad impressions and delivery, while 89 percent felt it’s important to verify Web site traffic.
- New media may benefit from audits. More than half of the survey respondents said they would be more likely to advertise on blogs, podcasts, streaming video, and mobile media if audited by an independent firm.
- Advertising buyers said the primary benefits of audited digital media include more reliable data, better post-buy analysis and evaluation, more confidence in media buys, more effective media plans, and more trust in Web site properties.
- Younger ad professionals appear to be less skeptical: 75 percent of respondents under age 25 said they trust the metrics provided by online publishers, compared to 22 percent of those in the 55-64 age category.