LONDON: 'Some improvement' but 'could do better' overall. That's the verdict of the latest survey on online media owners' service levels conducted by UK agency body, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

The study was devised to help the growth of digital advertising, to provide a collective voice for the agency community and raise the digital standard in general.

However, it appears there is still some way to go before those standards reach an acceptable level, according to the IPA Digital Media Group.

The key findings of the survey show ...

  • There has been an overall decline in satisfaction levels for online media owners in both the display and search sectors:

    On a like for like basis there has been a slight decline of 3.2% in the overall level of satisfaction at the top two box levels (strongly agree/agree) from an average score of 43.5% in May to 40.3% in September for display, and a 5.1% decline from 42.7% to 37.6% for search.

  • Social networks are lagging behind the market in service provision as a whole:

    This second wave of research asked respondents to rate the four main social networking sites (BEBO, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube). Results reveal that only one of these four crossed the 40% level of satisfaction.

  • Despite generally poor results, there have been improvements in overall score by the display media owners who found themselves at the bottom of the rank order at the first wave of research:

    Emap Online has increased its score by 13 percentage points and Emap's position in the league table has improved significantly from 17th out of 20, to 7th. The Times Online, Telegraph Online and E-Type have also made minor improvements.

  • There have also been demonstrable improvements in the after-sales support since the last survey:

    This latest survey reveals a rise of over 8% for trafficking and over 6% for service/communication/ optimisation.
Comments Matt Simpson deputy-chairman of IPA Digital: "As an industry it is imperative we understand the key issues that affect us all. Trafficking and after sales care was one such issue and a 9% increase in satisfaction shows the media owners listened.

"A major concern is that the new survey shows it's becoming harder than ever to contact sales reps; let's hope we see the same positive action regarding this issue in the next survey."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff