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  • Frank Gussoni

Delivery vs. Viewability; The Difference is Critical for Regional Companies

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

How real time bidding may tank a mid-market

company’s digital advertising budget.

There are two things any advertiser should be aware of concerning their digital ad campaign. First, they will get billed for every ad that’s “delivered” and second, they should not assume that anyone actually saw the “delivered” ad. That’s why ensuring the viewability of an ad, in addition to its actual delivery is so crucial to every mid-market regional company’s digital advertising campaign.

The advertising industry traditionally follows the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) standards when it comes to delivery, viewability and when an advertiser is charged for their digital ad placement. Simply put, the IAB states that when a digital ad tag is called to a webpage, it is then considered delivered. If it’s trumped by a higher priced ad through RTB (real time bidding) before it’s visible, it’s still charged to the client. Or, if 50% of that ad is in view for one second or appears on the page even if it’s never scrolled to be seen, the ad is counted as being viewable.

Unfortunately, the way these standards are written, it is acceptable to invoice an advertiser for messages that were “delivered” but never seen.

While many national companies have immense budgets, large enough to rain down on their digital ad campaigns, mid-market companies can’t afford to waste most of their budget on digital ads that don’t have the opportunity to ever make an impact. Because seemingly endless budgets are not available to mid-market companies, it’s imperative to know that the ads placed are not only delivered but that the majority are viewed by their targeted consumers.

A good plan for a highly viewable digital campaign should begin with the vetting of viable digital companies to establish the exact guidelines they follow for ad viewability. Working directly with a property also allows for contractually guaranteed placement with a clearly defined emphasis on pinpointing only the potential consumers that truly matter.

Finally, use an accurate and accountable third -party vendor to independently track the results. This process allows for the selection of properties that are willing to work with acceptable viewability percentages. The truth is that you really don’t need to be seen by everyone, everywhere, you just need to make sure that you are able to be seen by everyone that matters.


President & Founder of A3 media.

We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

Frank’s Take provides uncommon sense media buying advice for regional and mid-market businesses.

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President & Founder of A3 media. We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

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