As part of its 2012 US Digital Future in Focus whitepaper, comScore looked at the online ad landscape and found a mix of old and new names. The report includes a list of the top 10 display advertisers in the United States (all of this data is US-only), as measured by impressions. AT&T topped the list, as it has in previous years, but there’s a newcomer — Google, which delivered 40.4 billion ads for products like Chrome, Google Offers, and Google+.
Large brand advertising on the Internet is growing in general, comScore says. To quantify that, it measured the number of advertisers delivering at least 1 billion impressions per quarter. There were 145 advertisers in that league during the final quarter of 2011, up 38 percent from the same period in 2010.
As for where these ads are actually running, Facebook remains the leader in display advertising, with 1.3 trillion impressions adding up to 27.9 percent market share. Following Facebook, in descending order, were Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google. (Remember that display advertising is a relatively new area for Google, which has traditionally focused on search ads.)
The report also includes the results of a December study looking at ad measurement. comScore calls the results “eye-opening”, arguing that visibility, geographic validation, brand safety, and audience targeting are all going to be big issues in 2012. For example, comScore found that 31 percent of ads in the study were delivered but never seen by consumers, presumably because people scrolled past before the ad loaded, or because they never scrolled down to see the at in the first place. comScore also found that 72 percent of campaigns ran at least some ads next to content that the advertisers said was not “brand safe”.