2017 / 9 June

Is Twitter Ad Stacking (with images)?


This morning in my daily Twitter routine I came across one particular NBA advertisement (image 1). Do you see anything out of the ordinary?

For me, it seemed a little odd, since I have never expressed any interest in NBA, at all, follow the NBA account and I am not currently leaving in the US. This could just be terrible targeting on the agency part and that always gets my attention (I also work in a media agency).

But when I paid closer attention I did realize that the type of ad being promoted was not only a Twitter’s NBA video post promotion but the video itself had also a skippable video advertisement on top (image 2 – translation in pink).

Is this a bug? Is this ad stacking? Is the Twitter serving a NBA ad on top of another NBA ad?

This leads us to two main questions:

  1. If it was a NBA ad, was NBA pay itself for promoting a video post?
  2. Or if it wasn’t, which I later discovered to be true, is NBA paying to enhance it’s Twitter post reach and Twitter is than serving an ad on top of that payed reach?

As you can see (image 3), the NBA promoted video is not only showing NBA related ads on top of it, it is also serving other ads like this one:

Something I later tested on the post it self and you also can:

You will see that post will serve you a skippable ad and that it is a promoted post.

What is Ad Stacking?

Ad stacking is a practice where multiple ads are stacked on top of one another, with only the top ad visible to the viewer. While only one ad is visible, the impression counts for each served ad, even the hidden ads underneath the stack. This is another publisher/network specific trick to defraud advertisers. (Source: Sizmek)

With that said, I do not believe that what Twitter is doing, does not fall under the ad fraud/ad stacking category, but it does not seem to be right either. It might just be a bug or something that they have not noticed yet.

I sure do hope so, since I have personally created some ads on Twitter for several clients.

***This article expresses only my personal opinion and in no way is it related to the company I work for.