GroupM And Leading Publishers Announce Higher Viewability Standards For Digital Advertising In Canada

TORONTO, Feb. 9, 2016 /CNW/ -- GroupM announced today a major initiative to strengthen the effectiveness of the digital advertising marketplace for its clients. Canada's largest media agency group is working with leading publishers to establish stringent market-leading standards for digital display and video ad viewability. 

GroupM announced a number of digital media companies that have all agreed to uphold its viewability standards across Canada.  These include leading Canadian and global publishers such as Globe and Mail, Quebecor, Rogers, and Yahoo!; specialist web destinations like AutoTrader; and digital sales houses like Crucial Interactive. 

GroupM is contracting viewability terms that far exceed Canadian industry standards into all trading deals for its clients. The agreements establish the duration and percentage of a display or video ad that must be visible before it will be counted as an impression and paid for by the clients of GroupM's agencies. 

For display advertising, GroupM insists that 100 percent of an ad must be viewable for at least one second, surpassing industry standards which call for 50 percent of pixels to be in view. For video ads, GroupM additionally requires that video plays must be user initiated (not auto-played) and run with the sound on.  GroupM also now requires that reconciliation of viewed ad impressions be verified by third-party specialists such as Integral Ad Science, Moat or Doubleverify; this also ensures all ad views are by humans. Third party verification of advertising delivery is standard practice in other media like TV, print and radio.

"At The Globe and Mail, we share GroupM's commitment to lead industry change by delivering more effective environments for advertisers to both engage with audiences and drive greater return on their investments," said Andrew Saunders, Chief Revenue Officer, The Globe and Mail. "We're proud to support this initiative to bring greater accountability to the digital arena."

"Implementing new standards that measure viewability is excellent news and a promise of added value for advertisers," explains Donald Lizotte, Executive Vice President, Advertising Sales and Marketing Quebecor Media and Vice President Sales and Marketing TVA Group. "Two years ago, we were the first in Quebec to innovate by introducing viewability and defining new standards to maximize conversion rates for our clients. By doing so, we've been able to bolster their confidence and reinforce their commitment to the digital advertising marketplace."

"Online viewability standards have been debated in Canada for a number of years. While we will continue to advocate for meaningful standards industry-wide, we are acting now with our media partners to deliver the performance and accountability we believe our clients deserve," said Neil Johnston, Chief Trading Officer of GroupM Canada. "We have pushed our partners and are grateful for the support we have received to deliver the absolute highest quality of digital advertising to our shared clients. This will help bolster the confidence of advertisers in the digital medium."

About GroupM

GroupM is the leading global media investment management company serving as the parent to WPP media agencies including Mindshare, MEC, MediaCom, Maxus, and Essence, as well as the programmatic digital media platform, Xaxis, each global operations in their own right with leading market positions. GroupM's primary purpose is to maximize performance of WPP's media agencies by operating as leader and collaborator in trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, proprietary tool development and other business-critical capabilities. GroupM's focus is to deliver unrivaled marketplace advantage to its clients, stakeholders and people. 

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