Interactive Advertising Bureau
22 February 2024

Transparency is largest obstacle in CTV reveals research from DoubleVerify and IAB Europe

In the unique European CTV market, a new report by DoubleVerify and IAB Europe finds a need for greater transparency and quality verification.

  • Only 30% of advertisers and publishers have full transparency of CTV ad placements
  • 27% never or rarely have insight into the brand suitability of their campaigns
  • 1 in 3 impressions serve into CTV environments that don’t pause when the TV is off
  • Less than half of advertisers and publishers use quality verification on CTV

Brussels, Belgium – 22nd February 2024 – Amid fast-growing interest and investment in Connected TV (CTV) across the UK and Europe, a new report reveals that CTV advertising is still struggling with a lack of transparency and a need for quality verification. Only 30% of advertisers and publishers have full transparency into where ad placements appear, and 27% never or rarely have insight into the brand suitability of the shows ads run alongside. These findings are part of a study conducted by DoubleVerify (“DV”) (NYSE: DV), a leading software platform for digital media measurement, data, and analytics, in collaboration with IAB Europe, the leading European-level association for the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem.

The report, which surveyed over 420 senior advertiser and publisher executives, complements the results of an analysis conducted by DV last year, which found that one third of impressions served into CTV environments don’t pause when TVs are turned off. These wasted impressions, coupled with the lack of transparency, the rise in ad fraud, which tripled between 2020-2022, brand suitability violations, and geo-relevance concerns all pose a challenge to CTV in the UK and Europe delivering its full potential. Especially as demand for CTV grows beyond what individual broadcasters alone can serve.

Transparency and measurement were cited by respondents as key issues, with a major challenge for both advertisers and publishers being the availability and quality of measurement data on CTV. However, according to this latest report, while verification on CTV buys is being increasingly considered to support quality outcomes, only 37% of advertisers and 41% of publishers have fraud protection. Meanwhile, only 44% of advertisers and 39% of publishers are measuring whether their ads have been viewed. 

Despite these obstacles, optimism surrounding CTV remains high. 95% of advertisers and 89% of publishers strongly believe that addressability and actionability are on the horizon for CTV, which will help advertisers drive outcomes from their campaigns and consequently encourage greater publisher investment. 

For advertisers, CTV is an attractive prospect in that it provides an opportunity to access premium programming at scale — expanding and augmenting audiences they may already reach on linear TV. Half (51%) of respondents cited scale as one of their key priorities. And even though CPMs on CTV are typically higher than those of other digital channels, 51% of advertisers also see investing in CTV as a way to achieve cost efficiencies compared with linear TV. 

For publishers, the focus is on providing high-quality inventory and qualified audiences to expand yield and deepen revenue. The top priority for 51% of publisher respondents is convincing new partners to begin advertising on CTV. This is closely followed by increasing CTV revenues with new (46%) and existing clients (45%), as well as extending audiences (38%) to help their advertiser partners amplify their reach. 

“The burgeoning development of the CTV market will be a lightning rod for European brands in 2024, with the results of this report indicating that media buyers are swiftly aligning their strategies to accommodate the unique objectives and opportunities the medium supports, ” said Nick Reid, SVP & Managing Director EMEA at DoubleVerify. “In the face of this expansion, transparency is clearly a limiting factor for more sure-footed investment and reliable results. As we collaborate with IAB Europe to promote transparency and quality verification, I am excited to see how advertisers and publishers propel the next stage of European CTV.”

"Our report with DoubleVerify confirms there is good reason to be optimistic that CTV advertising will see continued growth in the UK and Europe, and media planners should be looking eagerly at how CTV advertising can augment and drive results,” said Helen Mussard, Chief Marketing Officer at IAB Europe. "However, it has also shone a light on a glaring need for verification and greater quality control. Once addressed, brands will be able to enjoy the full benefits of this transformative channel.”

“CTV shows strong potential in markets with robust retailer data availability and capabilities, serving as a catalyst for driving revenue,” said Olya Dyachuk, Global Media & Data Director, The Heineken Company. “Unlocking this potential hinges on integration at media planning and execution levels and incorporation of CTV into the media mix seamlessly alongside traditional AV and Programmatic Online Video. Planning for high quality inventory, contextual relevance, and brilliant fit-for-purpose creative are also critical for success in the CTV space. This unified approach allows for optimum attention, resulting in better mental availability and maximum brand impact.” 

“Understanding precisely where your advertisement is placed and having the ability to drive optimisation is as crucial as ever for brands,” said Alex Thomas, Director, Brand Safety & Responsible Investment, GroupM. “The CTV landscape has historically grappled with fragmentation and technological limitations, hindering the development of these vital elements through the ecosystem. While progress has been made, it's evident there is still room for further advancement, which is key to reducing brand safety and suitability concerns across CTV.”

The report, The Power and Potential of CTV in Europe, explores the state of CTV adoption throughout the UK and Europe, what advertisers and publishers can hope to get out of their investments, what they can expect over the next few years, and what challenges they face in CTV adoption. This includes the truth about CTV quality, transparency and brand suitability. Spokespeople from the following organisations provided qualitative contributions to the report: The Heineken Group, easyJet, Samsung Ads EMEA, Omnicom Media Group UK, GroupM, the7stars, e-dialog, Jellyfish, Microsoft Advertising, Magnite, PubMatic and Yahoo. Download the report here.

*The research took place between June and August 2023 and leveraged the national IAB network in Europe. It received 422 advertiser and publisher responses from across 29 markets. The respondents were split evenly, with 51% representing advertisers and 49% representing publishers. For this report, DoubleVerify and IAB Europe have designated advertisers and agencies as “advertisers” and publishers, media owners, broadcasters and CTV apps as “publishers.”

For more information: 

About DoubleVerify

DoubleVerify (“DV”) (NYSE: DV) is the industry’s leading media effectiveness platform that leverages AI to drive superior outcomes for global brands. By creating more effective, transparent ad transactions, we make the digital advertising ecosystem stronger, safer and more secure, thereby preserving the fair value exchange between buyers and sellers of digital media. Learn more at

About IAB Europe

IAB Europe is the European-level association for the digital marketing and advertising ecosystem. Its mission is to promote the development of this innovative sector and ensure its sustainability by shaping the regulatory environment, demonstrating the value digital advertising brings to Europe’s economy, to consumers, and to the market, and developing and facilitating the uptake of harmonised business partners that take account of changing user expectations and enable digital brand advertising to scale in Europe. Learn more at 

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