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Google’s Video Ads Violate its Standards; Report Claims the Tech Giant “Misled” Buyers

PUBLISH DATE: 07 July 2023
Google Violates its Ad Inventory Standards

According to some reports, Google Video Partners’ placements on third-party sites violated Google’s standards about 80% of the time.

A new research report has ignited a heated dispute between Google and Adalytics, raising serious concerns about Google’s adherence to its own ad placement standards.

Adalytics claims that Google has been violating these standards approximately 80% of the time when placing ads on third-party websites. The research was conducted by analyzing campaigns from over 1,100 brands, encompassing billions of impressions served between 2020 and 2023.

According to the report, Adalytics accuses Google of misleading media buyers, explicitly highlighting the Google Video Partners program. This program aims to bring TrueView campaigns to high-quality publisher websites and mobile apps. Shockingly, the report suggests that around 80% of Google Video Partners placements on third-party sites need to meet Google’s standards.

Samsung, Disney+, and Johnson & Johnson, as well as government entities including the Social Security Administration, the U.S. Army, and Medicare, are among the advertisers that have been affected by this alleged misalignment. The report suggests that these entities have unwittingly spent billions of dollars on ineffective ad units, such as small, muted, out-stream, auto-playing, or interstitial videos on independent websites and mobile apps.

One prominent consumer goods brand, mentioned in the report, had a significant portion (75%) of its TrueView budget allocated through Google Video Partners. Shockingly, 56% of the budget was spent on websites that displayed ads in muted or non-in-stream video players, while 19% was allocated to ineligible mobile apps.

We asked leaders and experts at Silverpush their views on these recent allegations.

Q. Is this a cause of concern for Indian advertisers too?

Yes, Indian advertisers will indeed be concerned about this issue. According to GroupM’s report, ad spending in India is projected to increase by 15.5% in 2023, reaching $18 billion. Advertisers in India heavily rely on digital platforms like Google for their advertising campaigns. Any violation of ad inventory standards or incidents that compromise brand safety on these platforms can have significant repercussions for advertisers. It can result in wasted ad spend, negative brand associations, and potential damage to the overall effectiveness of their advertising efforts. Therefore, Indian advertisers will likely be paying close attention to the situation and looking for ways to ensure the safety and effectiveness of their ad placements on Google and other digital platforms.

Q. What are your experiences with regard to the open web programmatic system?

The open web programmatic system is an automated and more efficient way to buy an inventory. Here advertisers bid on ad space in real-time which ensures that the ads that are shown are the most relevant to the user at the right time and at the right moment.

There are a number of benefits to using the open web programmatic system. It can help to improve ad relevance, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and many more. However, risks are involved due to information asymmetry, lack of transparency, viewability, brand safety, ads getting shown on websites that are just made-to-place ads, and many more.

At Silverpush we believe that the open web programmatic system is a promising technology with the potential to improve how digital advertising is bought and sold, which will benefit not only advertisers and save their dollars but also can be as relevant as it can be for the end users. At Silverpush we execute open web campaigns only on contextual deals created on curated supply via top SSPs. This enables us to look into the context of the content before placing an ad.