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More than four-in-ten European online ads fail to reach their intended audience – Nielsen

London – 19 May 2014 – Some 41% of online ad impressions are not reaching their intended audience across Europe’s four biggest online ad markets – UK, Germany, France and Italy – according to Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.

Comparing countries, more online ad impressions reach the advertiser’s intended audience in the UK than in the other measured markets, but campaigns in the UK tend to have slightly broader intended audiences. However, wastage remains high among all these countries.

The findings are based on a measure of more than 1,000 campaigns across Europe’s four biggest economies, which together account for more than two thirds of European online ad spend.

They are collected using Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) – a highly accurate, continuous data collection tool that helps the media industry identify and measure real-time audience exposure to online ad campaigns. The efficiency of a campaign is determined by the proportion of impressions reaching the advertiser’s intended demographic, based on age and gender.

Nielsen European managing director of digital David Gosen explains: “With consumers spending more time online, the investment in online advertising has naturally grown, and there is now an increased expectation for online advertisers to fully understand the efficiency of their campaigns. But 41% of online ad spend across Europe is not being seen by its intended audience. If online advertisers had better visibility of the ‘reach’ of their campaigns, while their ads are still running, they could optimise placements and performance, and dramatically reduce wastage.”

Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings is the most robust and reliable measurement of an online campaign’s reach. The system measures people and not cookies, combining Nielsen’s high quality audience panels with aggregated, anonymous demographic data from participating online data providers, including Facebook. Using this unique approach, Nielsen is able to provide reach, frequency and Gross Rating Point (GRP) measures in real-time, allowing for ‘in flight’ optimisation of online advertising campaigns of virtually any size.

Gosen continues: “Wastage is of course inevitable across all media, but the greatest opportunities for advertisers, publishers and agencies to reduce it exist online. The tighter targeting that is inherently achievable through online advertising, combined with real-time insights and optimisation through Online Campaign Ratings, means that far greater accuracy and efficiency is possible.”

Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings launched in the UK in October 2012. Since then, it has gone live across Europe, launching in Italy and Germany in May 2013 and in France in January of this year with local partner MediaMetrie.

About Nielsen

Nielsen is a global information and insights company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands.