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 mission of the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) is to drive growth for marketing professionals, brands and businesses, the industry, and humanity. The ANA serves the marketing needs of 20,000 brands by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed by the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of U.S. and international companies, including client-side marketers, nonprofits, fundraisers, and marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). The ANA creates Marketing Growth Champions by serving, educating, and advocating for more than 50,000 industry members that collectively invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.

Duke Fanelli