Malicious and Disruptive Ads Account for 1 in Every 100 Impressions

May 21, 2019


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Confiant, a provider of advertising security, released its Demand Quality Report for Q1 2019. The report benchmarks demand quality issues that publishers and platforms face--such as malicious ads, low-quality ads and in-banner video ads -- so they can better protect their reputation, revenue and resources. While there was a significant decrease in issues across all three categories, malicious and disruptive ads still impact nearly one in every 100 ad experiences.

Confiant observed a substantial decrease in the violation rates from Q4 2018 to Q1 2019, and uncovered seasonal factors and industry-wide trends, such as:

  • Nearly 1 in every 100 impressions was impacted by a malicious or disruptive ad: This statistic, when combined with a conservative estimate of 4-5 display ads per page and 5 pages per session, suggests that over 20% of user sessions might be impacted by malicious or disruptive ads.
  • Weekends and holidays experience a higher rate of incidents: Three-day weekends are attractive targets for malvertisers, and the largest spike in malicious ads in Q1 occurred over President's Day weekend, a U.S. federal holiday that takes place on the third Monday in February.
  • There is a huge margin between bad platforms and good: The best supply-side platforms (SSPs) continue to outperform the worst by a huge margin. Currently, the worst SSPs are 67 times as likely to deliver a malicious or disruptive ad.
  • The issues remain highly concentrated: More than 60% of in-banner video ads and 60% of security issues came from just three SSPs.

These insights and others from the report strongly suggest that publishers need to carefully consider what SSPs they choose to work with and how they choose to work them. The impact on user experience and monetization varies greatly between SSPs, creating a complex tradeoff that Confiant hopes to help illuminate as its solution evolves.


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