MRC Announces Update to Viewable Impression Advisory
November 20, 2013, New York – The Media Rating Council (MRC) announced today that it will lift its Viewable Impression Advisory by the end of Q1 2014. Prior to lifting the advisory, the MRC continues to identify and remove obstacles to widespread use of viewable impressions as a digital currency metric. The viewability measurement standard is expected to be complete by the end of 2013.
The MRC issued its first Viewable Impression Advisory to caution the marketplace about transacting on viewable impression measurement in November 2012, and issued a subsequent update to the advisory in June 2013.
Since the June update, significant progress has been made. Many viewability measurement providers have been engaged in MRC accreditation audits. To date, six vendors have been accredited by MRC for their viewability solutions. SafeFrame has been released by IAB, and has been adopted or is being tested across several publishers.
As a result, the MRC believes the key remaining issue is to reconcile the viewability measurements of different vendors. When that is complete, the reconciliation process will make it possible to explain and fully understand differences in viewable impression counts.
“We believe the differences among vendors are not necessarily a result of differences in their viewable impression counting functions, but rather an artifact of other processes in which each vendor engages—including their filtration or verification functions—which ultimately affects their calculations of viewable impressions,” said George Ivie, Executive Director and CEO, MRC. “It is our intent to provide guidance to both the industry and to the viewability vendors about how these differences should be accounted for and minimized moving forward.”
As a result of this forthcoming reconciliation work, the MRC expects to be able to communicate its guidance on this issue to the marketplace by year-end. However, Ivie said, “this information may require certain marketplace adjustments, not only by viewability vendors, but also among digital advertising buyers and sellers, which is why the MRC will wait to lift its cautionary advisory until these can be sufficiently addressed which we anticipate will be at the end of the first quarter in 2014.”
MRC believes the transition to viewable impressions represents an improvement to the overall quality of digital advertising measurement. It also is in alignment with key principles for digital measurement put forth by the ANA, 4A's and IAB as part of the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative.
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About the Media Rating Council (MRC)
The MRC is a non-profit industry association established in 1964 composed of leading television, radio, print and Internet companies, as well as advertisers, advertising agencies and trade associations whose goal is to ensure measurement services that are valid, reliable and effective. Measurement services desiring MRC Accreditation are required to disclose to their customers all methodological aspects of their service; comply with the MRC Minimum Standards for Media Rating Research and other standards MRC produces; and submit to MRC-designed audits to authenticate and illuminate their procedures. In addition, the MRC membership actively pursues research issues they consider priorities in an effort to improve the quality of research in the marketplace. Currently approximately 90 research products are audited by the MRC.