Your one-stop for the most important articles in digital marketing this week. In this post, our team dives deep to get you the latest digital marketing news in one place. Enjoy! 

Consumers ‘pay more attention’ to ads next to coronavirus news content

Words relating to the Covid-19 pandemic have fast risen up brands’ keyword blacklists, yet there is evidence to suggest they should actually be actively placing ads next to coronavirus-related content.

A recent investigation into the impact of ‘hard news’ on advertising responses suggests hard news has no negative impact on advertising content, responses to ads or brands. According to the Newsworks and Neuro-Insight study, the average ad dwell time is 1.4 times higher in a hard news environment (45 seconds versus 32 seconds).

While the average levels of response to ads in hard and soft news environments are similar, the pattern of response shows more and stronger peaks for ads in a hard news environment, indicating the brain is more actively engaged and there is more likelihood of key messages being encoded into memory.

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‘Rats out of the sewers’: Ad fraudsters are leaping on the coronavirus crisis

With the majority of people now at home, there are more opportunities for bad actors to pounce. The fraudulent activity analyzed included click-jacking techniques to trick a user into visiting a fake landing page and auto-redirect ads informing the user they have “won an Amazon gift card” in a bid to extract their personal data. Other types of malicious activity included video stuffing, pixel stuffing, cryptojacking, and more.

Clean.io “saw and blocked malicious ads coming from every DSP in the ecosystem; ones you would expect have only been bringing clear demand to the market,” said CEO Matt Gillis. “I think there’s a misnomer that malicious ads come from low rate networks and b-rate exchanges.”

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COVID-19 Leads To Sharper Focus On Brand Safety

As with prior public crises, advertisers are rightly putting a sharper lens on brand safety, messaging and context. But the depth and breadth of COVID-19’s impact distinguishes it from any scenarios of the past, significantly reshaping media consumption behaviors, the content ecosystem and consumer shopping activities almost overnight.

Even the savviest of marketers may find themselves hard-pressed to keep up during such volatile times, but there are several steps they can take to assure message effectiveness in the current environment: lead with empathy; diversify your portfolio; tighten your brand safety net; obsess over frequency management; and measure for the now, not the past or future. 

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Australia Ranks First for Brand Safety in Mobile: IAS Media Quality Report

Global leader in digital ad verification, Integral Ad Science (IAS), today released its latest Media Quality Report (MQR) for H2 2019. The MQR provides insight into the performance and quality of digital media in Australia with global comparisons on viewability, brand suitability, and ad fraud.

Australia was one of the strongest performing countries for advertising media quality across all of the key benchmarks. This performance is likely a testament to the sophisticated local ecosystem of advertisers, publishers, and industry bodies for championing initiatives such as ads.txt and the IAS-built Open Measurement SDK (OM SDK). Advertisers have prioritized clean impressions, and publishers in Australia are delivering relevant, engaging content and online experiences to garner longer ad exposure times, a great proxy for attention and engagement.

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How Advertisers Are Responding to the Coronavirus Crisis

The Great Recession was a low point in the recorded history of advertising. Total media ad spending declined for two straight years in the US, and digital ad spending even dropped in absolute terms in 2009, the only time that’s ever happened. But most of the buy-side decision-makers surveyed in late March 2020 by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) think the coronavirus pandemic will have an even worse effect on US ad budgets.

The IAB found that about three-quarters of respondents thought the current situation would be worse than the 2008-2009 financial crisis, including 44% who said it would have a “substantially more negative impact.” And, indeed, most respondents reported already having made changes to their ad spending. A quarter had even paused all the advertising they could.

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So there you have it friends, the best articles for this week. Make sure to check back every week for a quick absorption of the most relevant articles in the industry and stay on top of your game.