Consumers respond far more favourably to digital ads that are viewed on trusted editorial sites, suggesting that high-quality journalism has a “halo effect” and generates a more engaged audience for advertisers.

That is according to World Media Group (WMG), a global alliance of a dozen leading news and media companies, which said ads viewed within a trusted editorial environment yield significantly better results for attention and viewability than the industry standard.

WMG – whose members include Bloomberg, The Economist, Forbes, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal, among others – based its claim on a study carried out by Moat, an analytics and measurement firm.

Moat checked the quality and extent of engagement towards WMG inventory across desktop display, mobile display and desktop video, comparing the results against its own benchmarks.

Among the more eye-catching findings, Moat revealed that the in-view rate (where 50% of an ad is viewable for at least one second) was 67% for mobile display ads served on WMG sites, or 32% higher than the industry standard.

The in-view rate for desktop display was 72%, or 27% above the industry standard, while for mobile – a smaller sample involving just five WMG publishers with ads assessed if seen for at least two seconds – the in-view rate stood at 75.2%, or 22% higher than Moat’s benchmarks.

Moat also measured dwell time across WMG inventory and recorded higher rates for both mobile (up 13%) and desktop (39%) compared with the industry average.

“The impact of poor-quality journalism and fake news over the last couple of years has made consumers much more savvy about where they go to for information,” said Alex Delamain, chair of the World Media Group.

“We’re now seeing a halo effect, translating into a more engaged audience for advertisers,” she added. “The Moat analysis underscores what we have long believed – that consumers are more receptive to advertising when it’s presented within an environment of high-quality content that they trust.”

Meanwhile, a separate report from tech firm Integral Ad Science (IAS) provided further evidence of the importance of placing ads in a trusted and high-quality environment.

After monitoring 50 people and their reactions to content during a 30-minute session, IAS concluded that the quality of the environment in which an ad is placed has a “dramatic impact” on how people react to the ad.

According to the IAS findings, about three-quarters (74%) of the participants perceived ads more favourably in a high-quality mobile environment.

Sourced from World Media Group, IAS; additional content by WARC staff