Rubicon Project & Integral Ad Science ink viewability deal to assure advertisers over independent measurement

The viewability of ads bought using automated technology is increasingly a concern for advertisers

Rubicon Project has paired with Integral Ad Science (IAS) to better assure advertisers that ads bought on its network will actually be seen, as marketers become increasingly demanding of media space bought using programmatic technologies.

The under-fire adtech outfit has today (February 6) announced that it has partnered with IAS to provide media buyers with “viewability scores” for display and video ad placements on its exchange.

This means that advertisers working with Rubicon can now be served with a viewability score (provided by IAS) informing them of the likelihood that an ad will actually be seen whenever they place a bid on a specific ad slot.

The combined Rubicon and IAS viewability offering is now available to IAS clients, and uses the IAB’s new OpenRTB 2.5 metric object to reveal in the bid request just how well each individual ad placement is positioned on the page for a consumer to see it.

“Armed with placement-level predictive viewability scores, media buyers in the Rubicon Project marketplace can make better-informed pricing decisions, establish accurate performance measurements, and execute increasingly sophisticated strategies,” said David Marquard, vice president of product management, IAS.

He added: “Our data will also empower publishers to use viewability as a selling point including – in the near future – packaging and merchandising high-performing inventory more effectively on Rubicon Project’s industry-leading orders platform.”

Issues such as viewability are increasingly topping the agenda when it comes to advertisers’ concerns when it comes to investing in online media space, as marketers seek assurances they are getting value for money. This was laid bare last week when Procter & Gamble’s brand chief Marc Pritchard used his IAB Annual Leadership Meeting keynote address to explain his concerns around transparency in the space.

“P&G believed the myth that we could be the latest mover on all the new shiny objects despite the lack of standards in measurement and verification,” he said, while pointing out a four-point plan the business has put in place to exert greater control over the quality of its media strategy.

In his address, P&G's Pritchard specifically raised issues around discrepancies in how media owners measure the performance of ad placements on their networks, and revealed his expectation that media owners will partner with third-party measurement vendors (accredited by The Media Ratings Council) to give a more independent assessment of their quality of their inventory.

“We need better advertising to drive growth, enabled by media transparency to drive a clean and productive media supply chain,” he added.

The partnership between Rubicon and IAS marks part of the publicly-listed adtech outfit’s attempt to implement a turnaround in its fortunes, with Rubicon reportedly attempting to find a buyer in the wake of its announcement that it will lay off 19% of its global workforce during its most recent earnings call.

Concerns around transparency in the online media space – specifically those in the adtech, or programmatic, sub-sector – are widely accredited as one of the chief catalysts fueling the market correction many of those in the space are currently enduring, with many asserting that 2017 will be a year of reckoning in the space.

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Sean Larkin

All by Sean