Comscore Study Estimates that 10 Percent of U.S. Online Display Ads are Locally Targeted

New Local Advertiser Capability Offers Competitive Intelligence for Advertisers and Identification of Sales Opportunities for Publishers

RESTON, VA, October 9, 2009 – Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released the results of a study of locally targeted online display advertising across four major U.S. markets: Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington D.C., which indicate that approximately 10 percent of all display ads in these markets were locally targeted.

The study is based on a new capability from Comscore of identifying local advertisers in a particular market. This enables publishers to identify potential ad sales opportunities with advertisers focused on a particular market likely to be willing to pay higher CPMs for locally targeted placements and can be used by advertisers to understand the competitive advertising landscape across local markets and determine the most valuable placements for their ads.

“Locally targeted ads are an increasingly important component of the digital ad landscape because they represent a more efficient allocation of ad dollars,” said Comscore vice president Brian Jurutka. “Comscore’s new capability allows us to identify and quantify these opportunities to deliver additional value to both advertisers and publishers alike.”

10 Percent of Display Ads Across 4 Major Markets are Locally Targeted

Advertisers were deemed to be locally-targeting ads in a particular market if their relative share of display ads was substantially higher than that market’s share of display ads nationally. For example, if the Chicago local market accounted for 3 percent of display ads nationally, but 10 percent of a particular advertiser’s ad impressions were delivered in that market, it can be inferred that those ads were being locally (or regionally) targeted.

The study found that between 9 and 11 percent of display ads in the four markets among all publisher sites were locally targeted. San Francisco (11 percent) and Washington D.C. (11 percent) had a relatively higher share of ads being locally targeted, while Atlanta (10 percent) and Chicago (9 percent) were slightly lower. Not surprisingly, in the regional/local site category – which includes sites like Yahoo! Local, Citysearch and Yelp – the share of display ads that were locally targeted was substantially higher at between 23-33 percent among the four markets.

Locally-Targeted Online Display Advertising by U.S. Market
August 2009
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore

Local Market

Share of Display Ads that are Local

All Publishers

Top 100 Publishers

Regional/Local Site Category









San Francisco




Washington, D.C.




Average of 4 Markets




“Our research indicates that advertisers understand the value of locally targeted ads and are willing to pay a premium for them – anywhere from 20 to 100 percent – depending on the geography and vertical,” said Matt Booth, senior vice president and program director, Interactive Local Media, BIA/Kelsey. “Identifying and quantifying which advertisers are purchasing local ads in particular markets is critical to helping publishers efficiently target potential prospects for these high value ad placements.”

About Comscore
Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit

Bill Daddi
Daddi Brand Communications