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GroupM sets new online ad viewability standards

Toronto-based media agency GroupM has announced that a group of digital media companies have agreed to uphold a new set of viewability standards for online advertising in Canada. The standards encompass digital display and video ad viewability. The agreements establish the duration and percentage of an ad that must be visible before it will be counted as an impression, and paid for by GroupM clients. Participating media companies include the Globe and Mail, Quebecor, Rogers, Yahoo, AutoTrader and Crucial Interactive, among others.

For display advertising, 100% of an ad must be viewable for at least one second, while for video ads, the video must play due to user choice and with the sound on. In addition, tallies of viewed ad impressions must be verified by third-party firms.

"Online viewability standards have been debated in Canada for a number of years," said Neil Johnston, chief trading officer at GroupM Canada. "While we will continue to advocate for meaningful standards industry-wide, we are acting now with our media partners to deliver the performance and accountability we believe our clients deserve. We have pushed our partners and are grateful for the support we have received to deliver the absolute highest quality of digital advertising to our shared clients. This will help bolster the confidence of advertisers in the digital medium."

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