ANA, 4As and IAB Declare Victory Over the Click-Through, Want Your Data

Ad Trade Groups Ask for Details on Viewable Impressions from Advertisers

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Credit: Dan Page
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Three of the largest ad industry trade groups say they have finally struck down the click-through.

In an open letter to their members, the Association of National Advertisers, the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Interactive Advertising Bureau said they're in the homestretch of establishing viewable impressions as the standard for digital ad campaign measurement.

But there remain bumps in that last stretch of road -- mainly discrepancies in how certified measurement services gauge viewable impressions. In the hopes of identifying and smoothing those differences, the organizations have called on their members to provide detailed data on campaign viewability measurement, a project to be overseen by the Media Ratings Council.

"We have won," declares the letter, released Thursday. "Implementation challenges notwithstanding, the viewable impression is the new reference currency for digital media transactions." The missive was signed by ANA President and CEO Bob Liodice, 4As President and CEO Nancy Hill and Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the IAB.

The trade groups initiated the "Making Measurement Make Sense" -- or 3MS -- project four years ago, the goal of which was to establish a standard for digital media measurement to rival the long-accepted yet faulty click-through rate.

The letter was also a call for data. The MRC wants advertisers to submit campaign data showing viewable impressions, non-viewable impressions, viewable rate and other metrics as provided by MRC-accredited viewability measurement providers such as AdYapper, Chartbeat, Comscore, DoubleVerify, Google ActiveView, Moat and Yahoo APT.

"Specifically, we need marketers, agencies, and publishers to provide the MRC specially structured data on viewability measurement results for their advertising campaigns, so the MRC can identify and resolve any remaining material causes for systematic viewable impression counting differences by companies and their vendors," states the letter.

The organizations also announced they will gather a "Blue Ribbon Task Force" of ad and publishing execs to oversee the 3MS iniative and embark on developing the ever-elusive gross rating point for cross-media measurement.

"We always expected hurdles along the way to better measurement. We also knew that, collectively, our industry would overcome them, and with the MRC's guidance, we are," notes the letter. "It is healthy for our ecosystem that companies are challenging each other, and negotiating their way over and around these obstacles. The debates and negotiations are merely stops along the way toward greater understanding and more consistent application of important industry standards."