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Top Ad Operations Challenges for Enterprise Publishers in MENA

ThePubverse Team | March 27, 2023

As the digital advertising industry continues to grow rapidly in the MENA region, publishers are facing several challenges in managing their ad operations effectively. Ad operations involve the management of ad campaigns, including planning, execution, and optimization, to ensure maximum revenue and user engagement. In this article, we will discuss some of the top ad operations challenges that enterprise publishers in the MENA region face.


Ad Blocking

Ad-blocking is one of the most significant challenges faced by publishers worldwide, including in the MENA region. According to a report by PageFair, the number of ad-blocker users in the Middle East increased by 30% in 2019. This trend can be attributed to a growing awareness of privacy concerns and the use of ad-blocking software to avoid annoying and intrusive ads.


Example: A popular ad-blocker in the MENA region is AdBlock Arabia, which blocks ads on websites in Arabic and English. Publishers in the region must find ways to overcome this challenge and ensure their ads reach their target audience.


Ad Fraud

Ad fraud is a significant issue in the digital advertising industry, and it is estimated that the MENA region loses approximately $1 billion annually due to ad fraud. Ad fraud can take various forms, such as fake impressions and clicks, ad stacking, and bot traffic. Publishers in the MENA region must ensure that they have robust ad fraud detection and prevention measures in place.


Example: In 2019, a study by Forensiq found that over 50% of the ad impressions in the MENA region were fraudulent. This statistic underscores the importance of ad fraud detection and prevention measures for publishers in the region.


 Lack of Standardization

The digital advertising industry in the MENA region is fragmented, with different countries having different regulations and standards. This lack of standardization can create challenges for publishers when it comes to ad delivery, reporting, and measurement. Publishers must navigate these regional differences and ensure they comply with local regulations while delivering high-quality ads.

Example: In Saudi Arabia, the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) requires that all online ads include a disclaimer identifying the advertiser. Publishers in the region must comply with this requirement while also ensuring their ads are of high quality and relevant to their target audience.


Ad Viewability

Ad viewability refers to the measurement of how visible an ad is to a website user. Publishers in the MENA region face challenges related to ad viewability, as advertisers are increasingly demanding higher standards for viewability. Publishers must ensure that their ads are viewable and meet industry standards to attract and retain advertisers.


Example: A study by Meetrics found that ad viewability rates in the MENA region were 48%, which is lower than the global average of 52%. This statistic highlights the need for publishers in the region to focus on improving ad viewability.


Ad Quality

Publishers in the MENA region must ensure that their ads meet high standards for quality. This includes ensuring that ads are relevant to their target audience, have high visual appeal, and are delivered in the appropriate format. Failure to deliver high-quality ads can result in reduced revenue for publishers and a negative user experience for website visitors.


Example: In 2020, the Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC) launched a campaign to raise awareness about phishing attacks. The campaign included an ad that was widely criticized for its poor quality and lack of relevance to the target audience. This example highlights the importance of delivering high-quality ads that are relevant to the target audience.


Ad Verification

Ad verification is the process of ensuring that ads are being displayed in a brand-safe and fraud-free environment. Ad verification tools can detect fraudulent activity and ensure that ads are being displayed on high-quality sites.


Example: In 2019, Anghami, a leading music streaming platform in the MENA region, partnered with DoubleVerify to ensure that its ads were being displayed in a brand-safe environment. The partnership allowed Anghami to detect and prevent ad fraud, resulting in increased revenue and improved user experience.


Publishers in the MENA region face a range of ad operations challenges, including ad blocking, ad fraud, lack of standardization, ad viewability, and ad quality. To overcome these challenges, publishers must invest in robust ad operations strategies and technologies that prioritize user experience, compliance with local regulations, and high-quality ad delivery.

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