Debates over what constitutes a display ad ‘view’ are roaring on, with only a third (37%) of senior agency and publisher execs deeming guidelines for viewability as ‘sufficient’.

This stat comes as part of a study conducted by ad tech company InSkin Media, which puts the IAB and Media Ratings Council’s current definition to trial. Both groups believe that 50% of an ad has to be in view for one second to be deemed viewable.

Half of those interviewed by InSkin Media believed this current standard to be an insufficient metric in general for display advertising, but the number rose to 63% for larger, non-standard formats such as skins and wallpapers.

Ranking as the most important factor to be addressed among senior decision-makers was a lack of ‘consistent measurement approaches across vendors’, with 85% citing inconsistency as responsible for campaign discrepancies and confusion over the concept.

A realistic model?

Questions have also arisen over whether an industry-wide vCPM is actually feasible. Over half (53%) of the study group reported that they did not think all ad formats will ever be purchased on a viewable impression basis, while nearly a fifth (18%) believed it would happen within a year.

“Clearly there’s a disconnect between the viewability standards themselves and our collective ability to effectively measure all digital ad formats – particularly non-standard, online branding formats,” comments Steve Doyle, InSkin Media’s chief commercial officer.

While the debate doesn’t seem to be reaching a conclusion just yet, the majority (80%) of the survey group welcomed the wider discussion it’s creating around engagement metrics for online ads.

In addition, there is a desire for increasing value to be placed on ‘time spent’ with an ad (44%), brand recall (37%) and engagement (32%).

PerformanceIN recently spoke with experts regarding IAB UK’s thoughts on viewability, in which clear guidelines were branded as “essential” but not easy to outline.