Industry Interest in Brand-Specific Commercial Ratings

June 1, 2012

By Bill Duggan

It’s now June (can you believe it!) and I’m proud that I’ve kept up with one of my primary New Year’s resolutions – to blog once a week. That’s over 20 blogs in 2012 at this point, all on the Marketing Maestros series of blogs. 

Of those 20+ blogs, none received more attention and industry reaction than my May 18 post titled, “C7? How about Brand-Specific Commercial Ratings?” That blog provided a reminder of advertiser interest in more granular commercial ratings — brand-specific commercial ratings that would help answer the question, “How many people actually had the opportunity to see my spot?” I was delighted with the personal emails and conversations in response to that blog. 

Bruce Goerlich is chief research officer at Rentrak. His industry credentials are impressive and include being the former chairman of the board of ARF. Bruce told me, “At Rentrak we believe in accountability. We have over 8 million homes, and 20 million TVs providing us with second by second TV ratings. This large footprint allows us to provide our clients with Exact Commercial Ratings today, ratings that only count viewership in the seconds in which the commercial aired. Our clients can see how their schedules, campaigns, and individual pieces of copy perform, as well as how their competitors did.”

The legendary Jon Mandel is now CEO of Precision Demand, and formerly was at Nielsen and before that ran Grey’s Mediacom. Jon says, “What is interesting about this, is we already do that and more. We can do it on a predictive basis. Our solution is also a lot simpler than the way people are going out trying to deliver it sometime in the future. And we are delivering it successfully to clients currently, not in some pipedream.”

Finally, George Ivie is executive director of the well-respected Media Rating Council. George says, “Nielsen's meters are being consistently improved and they are getting closer to being fit for this purpose. They need to make some fixes; the most important fix is a new Watermarks system (primarily to combat compression issues). These fixes need to be implemented and validated by MRC.”

Those comments from Bruce, Jon, and George are very encouraging and ANA looks forward to the industry dialogue on brand-specific commercial ratings continuing and real progress made.

P.S. ANA supports audited measurement and encourages all companies that provide television ratings and brand-specific commercial ratings to be audited by the MRC.

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