LONDON: As YouTube scrambles to deal with the fallout of concerns about brand safety, a new study says that video brand risk – ads served next to content deemed inappropriate – improved in the UK during 2016.

The H2 2016 UK Media Quality Report from adtech business Integral Ad Science, based on insights collected from over 100bn ad impressions analysed globally in the second half of last year, found that video brand risk fell from 11.2% in the first half to 8.9% in the second, putting it on a par with display brand risk, which went from 7.8% to 6.8% over the same period.

"Context is key," said Nick Morley, EMEA MD, Integral Ad Science. "Everyone in the industry has a duty of care to address brand safety issues," he added. "We'd encourage all to do their part and use third party verification technology."

That's a view endorsed by Unilever's chief marketing officer Keith Weed, who recently expressed surprise at the current publicity around the topic – Unilever has long used third-party verification services to ensure its ads appear in safe environments.

"In a fast moving world, I think everyone needs to keep themselves tooled up and sharp with what's going on," Weed told Business Insider. "It's easy to blame one person, and they [Google] have the biggest accountability, but we all need to do our homework."

Other notable figures contained in the Integral Ad Science report were those for video viewability, which rose from 40% to 58.2% from the first to the second half of the year, while the completion rate in view increased from 26.7% to 35.1%.

When the report turned analysing rates of ad fraud, a stark difference was found between those campaigns using ad fraud prevention and those that did not.

For advertisers utilising prevention technology, ad fraud rates were found to be 0.3%, compared to 4.9% when no fraud prevention measures were taken. Further, homepages attracted higher rates of ad fraud – 88% higher than article-specific pages.

This H2 2016 report also incorporated consumer-level insights for the first time, revealing that , for most campaigns, the vast majority of consumers are underexposed.

Between 70% and 85% of consumers were served no more than one viewable impression and between 50% and 65% of consumers were exposed to the ads for a total of five seconds or less.

Data sourced from Integral Ad Science; additional content by WARC staff