Comscore Study Finds 31% Of Display Ads Never Seen

You knew some of your display ad impressions were wasted, but not exactly how many. Now the first Comscore study of its kind has quantified what percentage of online display ads aren’t even seen by users — an average of 31% and, on some sites, as many as 91%.

Sometimes those ads are below the fold, so users never even scroll down far enough to see the ad. In other situations, ads are high on the page, but people scroll past them before they’ve had a chance to load.

The study also looked at ads that were delivered outside the intended geographic area. An average of 4% of impressions went to viewers in places that weren’t on the plan, and many of those were delivered in places where the product wasn’t even available. Some campaigns had as many as 15% of impressions delivered to unintended geographies.

More wasted — or even potentially damaging — impressions were delivered beside content deemed “not brand safe” by the advertiser. Seventy-two percent of all of the campaigns studied had at least some ads served on pages that had objectionable content, as defined by the brand.

The Validated Campaign Essentials study used 12 national brands, 3,000 placements, 381,000 site domains and 1.7 billion ad impressions to come to its conclusions. Advertisers included Allstate, Chrysler, Discover, E*TRADE Financial, Ford, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Kimberly Clark, Kraft, and Sprint.

Related Topics: Channel: Display Advertising | Display Advertising | Statistics: Online Advertising


About The Author: is executive features editor of Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. She’s a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported on, written about and worked in digital media and marketing for more than 10 years. She is a previous managing editor of ClickZ and has worked on the other side of digital publishing, helping independent publishers monetize their sites in her work at Federated Media Publishing.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn

Marketing Day:

Get the top marketing stories daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • Luis Galarza

    This is crazy, this the reason I always recommend to use the ad re-targeting feature to all display or banner advertising campaigns, at least this way if some one actually clicks through your ad your message will follow that person for a set period of time, which increase conversion dramatically!…. Still this doesn’t fix this problem!

  • Heidi R. Glocker

    Interesting find here, Pamela!  Thanks for the insight.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Marketing Land on Twitter @marketingland Like Marketing Land on Facebook Follow Marketing Land on Google+ Subscribe to Our Feed! Join our LinkedIn Group Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Marketing News!

Marketing Day is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!