Marketers Overwhelmingly Call for Third-Party Measurement of All Digital Media Owners’ Inventory

Six in 10 would shift spending elsewhere if third-party measurement is not provided

NEW YORK (November 23, 2015) — The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) surveyed its members to understand marketers’ perspectives of viewability verification procedures used by digital media owners. The ANA found that nearly all respondents (97 percent) believe that all digital media owners’ inventory should be measured by a third party.

The need for third-party verification was reinforced by an overwhelming 90 percent of responders who said they are not fully confident that their digital working media meets industry viewability standards. The call for impartial verification was reinforced by 61 percent of ANA respondents indicating they would shift their spending elsewhere if digital media owners did not provide independent measurement.

“During a time of intense scrutiny on transparency and accountability, it’s vitally important that all digital media owners measure viewability by an independent third party, consistent with industry standards. That’s just ‘table stakes’ for digital advertising,” said Bob Liodice, ANA president and CEO.

Some large media owners do not allow third-party measurement vendors to report viewable ad impressions to their clients. Instead, they utilize internally derived metrics that have not been independently verified. Currently, more than 20 firms are accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC) to measure digital advertising viewability. Nearly two-thirds of ANA respondents feel “very strongly” that a digital media owner should have internally derived metrics accredited by the MRC.

The ANA will continue working with the Media Rating Council and other industry trade associations to elevate the importance of this issue and drive industry standards. “The future of digital advertising measurement relies on heightened accountability through consistent industry standards by all in the ecosystem,” Liodice said.

Endorsing the findings, the 4A’s Measurement Task Force said, “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.” The Alliance for Audited Media noted, “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 standards. Marketers must take the lead by demanding the accountability and transparency that come with a third-party certification audit.”

“Marketers should insist that digital media owners provide third-party verification to optimize accountability and cross-media comparability,” said Bill Duggan, ANA group EVP. The bottom line, Duggan said, “is that the ANA will continue to urge marketers to demand greater transparency and accountability for their digital media investments and support accredited third-party verification.”

The survey was conducted among ANA members during the summer of 2015. There were 154 respondents.


About the ANA:
The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) provides leadership that advances marketing excellence and shapes the future of the industry. Founded in 1910, the ANA’s membership includes nearly 700 companies with 10,000 brands that collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing and advertising. The ANA also includes the Business Marketing Association (BMA) and the Brand Activation Association (BAA), which operate as divisions of the ANA, and the Advertising Educational Foundation, which is an ANA subsidiary. The ANA advances the interests of marketers and promotes and protects the well-being of the marketing community.

Duke Fanelli