38% of UK advertisers have no insight into where their content is appearing online

By Ishbel Macleod | PR and social media consultant

November 21, 2013 | 2 min read

Over a third (38 per cent) of UK advertisers do not know where their content is appearing online, research from Project Sunblock has found, with 7.78 billion display advertising impressions served alongside brand-damaging content each year, including categories such as phishing, malware, illegal drugs, violence and pornography.

The research found that around £2.4bn is being spent each year on buying display advertising that could end up anywhere on the internet, as 62 per cent of senior marketing professionals have no way of gaining access to real-time analytics on their marketing efforts.

In the study, nearly half of all marketing decisions makers reported that online advertising is not transparent enough and doesn’t provide enough brand protection, with pornographic websites voted the worst for a brand’s reputation, followed by sites fuelling terrorism, and illegal sites such as video or music streaming services.

Andrew Goode, COO, Project Sunblock said: “Now that technology like real-time bidding is the norm, the buy and sell of digital advertisings is becoming more instantaneous and harder to track than ever before. If left unchecked, brands are leaving themselves open to a raft of potential threats and a proportion of the UK’s online advertising spend will continue to fund criminal activity. Big brands are effectively allowing their collateral to be hosted on illegal or sexually explicit websites, and each time that happens, brands are putting money in the back pocket of criminals.

“We’ve even seen examples of banks appearing on porn sites, or broadband providers appearing on peer-to-peer sites where visitors can illegally download the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Brands need to address the threat sooner rather than later, and with our new technology platform we’re offering them to chance to do just that.”

The research was conducted on behalf of Project Sunblock, with 268 senior marketing decisions makers at mid-sized (50-500 people) UK brands.

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