IAB Singapore has reached an agreement over a benchmark for viewability in Southeast Asia, settling on the MRC’s standard of 50% pixels in view for one second.

The announcement marks the beginning of a testing period, to be carried out by a third-party similar to Moat or comScore, and will apply to both video and display inventory.

At present, the IAB states that testing will only count ad slot viewability, rather than the actual ad itself: “We are not factoring in, at this point in time, whether the full ad, video or display, was actually loaded or served.”

Overseen by the IAB’s CEO for Singapore, Miranda Dimopoulos, the regulatory body called in some of its most high-level representatives to participate in the decision-making process, intent on making things as transparent as possible.

Agreement over a baseline metric represents a key milestone for industry regulation in Southeast Asia, which has until now gained somewhat of a global reputation for fraudulent activity and malpractice.

Reaching an agreement

Speaking on the challenges of developing the initial conversation, which forms the foundation of a whitepaper to be produced over the next four months, IAB Singapore claimed certain publishers would “not disclose” their display advertising metric, while others “questioned the quality” of their viewability benchmarks.

However, the industry trade body claims that the “majority” made an agreement for the benchmark to be summoned to the testing phase following a “thoughtful and engaging discussion”.

This conversation included senior executives from Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, MediaCorp and global brand agencies MEC, SPH, PubMatic, Xaxis and Starcom.

“As for the campaign threshold, it was agreed that viewability could never truly be 100%,” said the IAB.

Following the tests, the next phase of the research will be an analysis of the “effectiveness” of the time users spent on the display advertisement. Members will be required to meet once every four weeks over the coming months in order to develop the report’s next stages.