Mobile ads in the UK and Ireland are not hitting the mark, according to a quarterly report by verification company Meetrics.

The report puts poor viewability on mobile behind a wider decline from 49% to 47% in the first quarter of 2017 – the lowest point in nine months, which according to the IAB/PwC translates to around £750 million in wasted spend every year.

With mobile playing an ever greater role within display advertising – accounting for as much as half of display ad budget - Meetrics’ commercial director, Anant Joshi, believes mobile’s inherently poorer visibility is having an impact.

“Obviously, the smaller screen size can mean more page scrolling and, thus, more chance of ads being missed lower down a page, plus slower network connection speeds can cause ad loading delays,” he explained.

Another thing to consider, Joshi added, is the legacy issue of desktop ads which are served on mobile, as they often demonstrate faulty formats, despite being created using a responsive design.

“Needs to change”

Viewability rates dropping isn’t just a UK concern, however. Germany saw a 3% fall in Q1 hitting an all-time low of 55%, while Australia is now at 67%, having lost 1% in the first quarter this year. France, on the other hand, rose by 3% to reach 60%. 

Despite their ups and downs, those countries are still ahead of the UK; “Unfortunately, we’re still seeing a lot of talk but not the required intense effort to increase viewability and improve campaign ROI. This needs to change,” concluded Joshi.

According to the IAB and Media Ratings Council’s recommendation, ads are considered viewable if half of the ad is in view for at least a second.