Today the IAB released a strongly worded – for an industry coalition, anyway – letter asking that the twin pillars of measurement in the interactive advertising universe – Neilsen and Comscore – submit to audits of how they measure, and in general work with the IAB to better measure interactive audiences. This marks the first public move by new IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg, and it’s sure to get some attention.
I’m both pleased with this move and hopeful that the response will be positive. I am a big fan of the folks at Comscore and we are working together diligently to come up with better measurement of the conversational media arena. But that’s just one piece of a larger puzzle. We can and should do better.
From the IAB release:
The goal of the IAB and the entire Interactive industry is simple: to achieve transparency in audience counts and to revise out-of-date methodologies.
For the Interactive industry, one that is committed to delivering accountability, integrity in audience measurement is a fundamental necessity. But, despite a multiplicity of reported discrepancies in audience measurements, comScore and NNR each has resisted numerous requests for audits by the IAB and the Media Ratings Council since 1999.
In order to establish the source of these discrepancies, and to find the potential solutions, the IAB is asking that both comScore and NNR obtain audits of their technologies and processes by the Media Rating Council (MRC).
The discrepancies exist between the audience measurements of comScore and NNR and those of the server logs of the IAB’s own members. Further compounding these differences are the disparities between comScore’s and NNR’s own measurement results. All measurement companies that report audience metrics have a material impact on interactive marketing and decision-making. Therefore, transparency into these methodologies is critical to maintaining advertisers’ confidence in interactive, particularly now, as marketers allocate more budget to the platform.
Without these audits, the industry has no way of knowing whether these deviations in measurement result from inconsistent counting or from outdated measurement methodologies, such as the panels developed in the 1930s and still relied on today.
Full text of the letter is in the jump….