Attention in the Spotlight: resources & research from three IABs

Posted on Wednesday 22 February 2023 | IAB UK

Explore key resources from IAB UK, IAB Australia and IAB Ireland to help you measure the attention your ads generate

Attention is a subject that is generating lots of debate within our industry – from how it should be defined to utilising it alongside other metrics. While there is a general sense of agreement that attention is a rich and valuable thing to measure, advertisers want to have a greater understanding of the best way to go about it.  

Here, we highlight how three IABs – IAB UK, IAB Australia and IAB Ireland – have explored attention within the context of digital advertising. While each initiative is different, the goal across each body of work is similar: to help the industry have a deeper understanding of attention as a metric, how to measure it and what it can show. 


At IAB UK, our focus over the past year has been on demystifying attention and educating advertisers on what it is, how it can be measured and what value it can deliver. We’ve done this by bringing together a number of experts with knowledge on attention – primarily via an attention working group of 25 media owners, advertisers, agencies and measurement specialists. The key objective of this group was to provide clarity into the subject by producing a set of clear resources. There have been three main outputs over the past year:  

  • An overview about what attention is, why it’s worth measuring and how it drives results at different stages of the path to purchase. Find this here 

  • A matrix of definitions that gives a more in-depth look at the four main types of methods used to measure attention - from eye-tracking to salience models. This can also be downloaded here 

  • For those wanting to embark on the process of measuring attention, we have also put together 10 key questions to ask measurement providers in order to find solutions best suited to your ads 

If you’re after more insight into attention, listen to our podcast episode with dentsu, Havas Media and DoubleVerify.  

IAB Australia   

IAB Australia has released its 'Ad Attention Measurement Landscape Report' to provide balanced information on the emerging techniques for measuring advertising attention, helping marketers explore which will best work for their activity and business scale. It provides transparency on the methodologies and metrics available in market from nine ad attention measurement vendors, as well as perspectives from buy and sell sides of the industry on how they see attention measurement developing into the future. 

The report includes a survey showing how the industry is approaching attention metrics, including: 

  • That there is huge appetite to explore the use of ad attention measurement with 8 in 10 respondents intending to measure attention for campaigns over the next year 

  • While there has been a great deal of conversation about ad attention, most in the industry say they know a little or nothing about the alternate methods for measuring ad attention 

  • While time in view is the most thought of as an effective ad attention metric (by 47%),  a range of different metrics are being considered and there is currently no definitive agreement on a particular metric 

You can find IAB Australia’s full report here, plus explore additional resources relating to attention from IAB Australia including: 

IAB Ireland 

In September 2022, IAB Ireland commissioned Lumen Research to undertake a study of attention on Irish publisher sites: and Respondents were shown five different articles (containing the test ads and other non-test ads) and had their eye movements recorded while they were browsing. They also undertook a 12 minute online survey to measure spontaneous and prompted brand recall, message takeout, brand favourability and perceptions of advertising on these sites. Results included: 

  • Ads viewed on sites with deeper engagement with content - so called ‘Slow Media’ -  gain greater attention. This study looked exclusively at attention on publisher sites where there is slower scrolling, which leads to greater ad attention, and more attention means more recall 

  • Creatives tested in this study achieved 1.2x more attention than global benchmarks and highlight a relationship between attention and recall 

  • 61% feel that ads on Irish publishers are trustworthy and relevant. Lumen panel data has shown a strong link between trusted sites and increased attention 

Specific learnings include: local creative gains more attention than generic global creative; new creative within a familiar campaign gain more attention; and creative design needs to consider the digital format to enhance brand recall. You can download the study in full here.  

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