The Industry Weighs in on Third-Party Measurement for Viewability of Digital Advertising

November 30, 2015

By Bill Duggan

Last week, the ANA released the white paper, “The Critical Need for Accredited Third-Party Measurement for Viewability of Digital Advertising.”  It contained great perspective from ANA members as well as sister industry trade associations.

From ANA members:

  • “Transparent, independent measurement is a key tenet of credibility.”
  • “It’s about financial accountability. Advertisers are expected to place investments in a responsible, effective manner. Without independent measurement, we cannot know if we are being responsible with our investments.”
  •  “Allowing the owners to self-report is fraught with conflicts of interest and leads to suspicion.”

From sister industry trade associations:

  • 4A’s: “The 4A’s Measurement Task Force strongly endorses the findings of this survey and the push for third-party measurement. The 4A’s feels that the growing importance of this issue is demonstrated by the fact that 61 percent of clients are willing to shift dollars to digital media owners which use independent measurement sources.”
  • AAM: “The quality of the digital supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Marketers have a vested interest in ensuring that all the various technologies, platforms, and media channels on which their digital ads run have been independently verified as meeting industry-agreed standards. They must take the lead by demanding the accountability and transparency that comes with a third-party certification audit.”
  • ARF: “ARF endorses MRC accreditation for viewability. We underline the importance of ANA’s call for third-party viewability measurement. Consistent standards will build C-suite confidence that marketing dollars in digital media are measurably driving brand growth and sales.”

The key issue this addresses is the fact that some large digital media owners do not allow third-party measurement vendors to report viewable ad impressions to their clients. Instead, they rely on internally derived metrics that have not been independently verified. Key ANA calls to action are:

  • All digital media owners should allow their inventory to be measured for viewability by a third party.
  • Marketers and their agencies should only use third-party ad measurement vendors that have been accredited by the Media Rating Council for current industry-agreed viewability standards.    

The ANA strongly encourages marketers to demand greater transparency and accountability for their digital media investments, support accredited third-party verification, and ensure that includes the measurement of viewable impressions. 

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