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Lack of Confidence in Web Traffic Numbers?

Strata agency survey finds over half of ad agencies polled question the numbers

As the advertising economy strengthens, trust issues have been brewing below the surface — specifically related to claimed Web traffic numbers from Internet audio services.

A survey of ad agencies by media buying and selling software company Strata found that a majority of advertisers doubt the legitimacy of Web traffic flowing to online advertisements. Over half of the agencies polled (56%) said they do not trust the Web traffic numbers and analysis provided by publishers with whom they advertise.

When asked if they agree with an earlier report released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau that found that 36% of Web traffic is fraudulent, 31% of agencies responded that they felt the figure was actually higher than the IAB reported, and an additional 43% answered that the IAB’s assessment was accurate. When asked about programmatic buying, 58% are still undecided on whether they trust those systems to accurately execute their ad orders.

Respondents also question the ROI of social media and online video advertising.

“Ad agencies revealed an interesting dichotomy within the advertising industry; agencies are displaying high levels of confidence and are increasing their ad spend while they question the accuracy of reported Web traffic numbers and the inflated CPMs they may command,” said Strata President Joy Baer.