Special Report: Media Mavens 2012

Media Mavens: Sherrill Mane, Interactive Advertising Bureau

Few 'Market Research' Executives Are Better Prepared to Try Meshing Online and TV-Audience Measurement

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Sherrill Mane
Sherrill Mane

Resume: After stints with Westinghouse Broadcasting's old cable-network division and Nielsen, Sherrill Mane worked 14 years at CNN, first on the TV side, later on TV and CNN.com and ultimately as senior VP-strategy for the news division before joining the IAB as senior VP-industry services five years ago.

Biggest accomplishment: Helping drive the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative to get an industry-accepted audience-measurement currency for digital media.

Quick fact: Shortly after the dawn of the browser in the mid-1990s, Ms. Mane led CNN.com's effort to get the first Media Rating Council-accreditation for a server-log-based audience-measurement system.

Few "market research" executives are better prepared to try meshing online and TV-audience measurement than Ms. Mane. She was, after all, the first CNN TV-side employee asked to also work on CNN.com and monetize it.

Though she's a researcher by training, Ms. Mane doesn't look at digital-measurement as research.

"The reason 3MS is succeeding," she said, "is that we've taken it outside of research. We have all these business leaders at the table saying this is how we want to transact."

Ms. Mane came to the IAB to focus on a range of councils and issues, but the growing shadow cast by the measurement problem made that her key focus ultimately.

"Brands are not going to take all their money and put it in digital," she said. "It has to go everywhere." But if you have measurement systems and processes completely different for digital, how do you do that ?"

Ms. Mane has been a driving force behind 3MS, which involves the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Association of National Advertisers and Interactive Advertising Bureau pushing such firms as Nielsen and ComScore to get MRC accreditation to deliver online ratings akin to TV along with assurances that people can actually see the ads.

It's a solution just as good -- or as critics might say, just as bad -- as that for TV. Either way it could create a common currency between the two. Both Nielsen and ComScore now have part of their solutions MRC-approved and are working toward full accreditations.

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