SINGAPORE: Brands can have fewer concerns about where their online ads will appear when buying media in Southeast Asia compared to the rest of the world, according to new research.

Integral Ad Science (IAS), the measurement and analytics company, has published its first Media Quality Report for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong & Taiwan, covering the second half of 2017 and examining media quality benchmarks for brand safety, ad fraud and viewability on display platforms.

This found that overall brand risk in the region across all buy types – publisher direct and programmatic – stood at 3.5%, below the global benchmark of 7.9% for H2 2017.

Global brand risk has been on the rise since H1 2017, IAS reported, largely driven by headlines around topics such as violence and hate speech.

Over one third of the risky impressions in SEA, HK, and Taiwan fell within the offensive language and controversial news category.

The offensive language and controversial news category for desktop display within publisher direct buys stood at 50.9% in H2 2017, which IAS attributed to an influx of premium publisher coverage around offensive language and controversial news which is classified as moderate risk.

Within the region, Malaysia’s brand safety risk was the lowest for display ads at 2.2%, closely followed by Singapore on 2.5%.

All other countries, however, were above the average, with Indonesia’s online environment posing the highest threat to brand safety in the region, with 9.1% of display ad impressions flagged for appearing on unsafe websites, and Thailand not far behind (8.6%) and then the Philippines (6.9%).

The mature markets of Hong Kong and Taiwan also showed a relatively high level of risk to brand safety with 5.7% and 6% of ad impressions respectively flagged for appearing alongside content deemed unsafe.

While brand risk is below the global average, viewability is higher – at 58.9% compared to 55.8%; fraud rates for campaigns that optimised against fraud remained relatively flat – evidence, said IAS, that optimisation efforts are paying off by keeping fraud rates low.

Sourced from Integral Ad Science; additional content by WARC staff