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4As Media Policy Chair Pushes for Commercial Ratings

Universal McCann's Jean Pool 'Embarrassed' By Industry's Lack of Audience Data

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AdAge.com) -- American Association of Advertising Agencies media policy chair Jean Pool threw down a gauntlet for media sellers today, demanding they provide a greater depth of measurement research, including commercial ratings.
American Association of Advertising Agencies media policy chair and Universal McCann exec VP-chief operating officer Jean Pool took the broadcast and cable TV networks to task in her remarks at the Media Conference.

Ms. Pool, exec VP-chief operating officer of the Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned media buyer Universal McCann, kicked off the American Association of Advertising Agencies annual media conference with a critique of current mass-marketing practices.

'Dirty little secret'
"Personally I'm embarrassed by this sorry state of affairs," she said. "Traditional media has had commercial ratings data for years and years. They must share the data or be seen as trying to hide a dirty little secret."

She said the lack of detailed, minute-by-minute data -- which, she said, wouldn't yield dramatically different results from the current standard of program averages -- is making many marketer's migration to highly measurable digital media that much easier. "The advertiser gets what's being delivered there," she said. "Not so with traditional media."

Consumers: Too many ads
Along with this accountability issue, she identified media fragmentation and clutter as two other big problems that threaten the future of broadcast media. In support, she released a joint study from Harris Interactive and the 4As that found that about one-third of consumers think there are too many ads in their programming.

That clutter, she said, "is one of the saddest and stupidest things we've done to our industry. There are too many products vying for too little inventory."

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