ANA Backs the MRC and Insists Ad Industry Needs “More Robust” Measurement Ecosystem

(Image credit: Stock)

NEW YORK—As a growing number of organizations and companies back efforts to build a next-generation measurement system, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has issued a statement outlining some of the principles and requirements advertisers want in a sound media measurement system.

The statement, issued by the ANA on behalf of the ANA Media Leadership Growth Council and ANA’s Cross Media Measurement initiative steering committee noted that their basic principles include the creation of “a measurement system that is objective, independent, transparent, neutral, and third-party verified.” 

“Marketers are committed to the evolution of the very best measurement systems and processes to optimize their media and marketing decision-making,” the ANA said. “These decisions involve billions of dollars of transactions dedicated to the optimization of business and brand performance. With technology and intelligence, the advertising industry needs a more robust measurement ecosystem that delivers on these aspirations.”

The ANA also stressed that the Media Rating Council (MRC) needs to play a central role in the process of creating a better measurement system. 

“We fully support the MRC and its body of work,” the ANA said. “Although the MRC accreditation process and attendant rigor require time and resources, it is an indispensable organization. It is necessary to support and justify the billions of advertising dollars spent annually on paid media. Fiduciary transactions require accurate foundational measurement enabled by the MRC. The ANA stands fully behind the MRC.”

The statement said “the most important measurement priority for marketers is a cross media measurement (CMM) solution built to meet the principles of MRC accreditation.”

“Reflecting the importance of that priority, ANA has been leading an industry steering committee that includes marketers, platforms, and agencies,” the group said. “MRC is advising that committee to ensure that industry standards are met, and the methodologies used are transparent. The 4A’s support this initiative and have committed to joining the CMM steering committee and working in partnership with ANA.  In addition, we are actively working with VAB/Open AP and TV networks and have plans to collaborate on content/context measurement. The ANA also encourages VAB to join the steering team.” 

Calling cross-media measurement “the paramount objective of the measurement community,” the ANA argued that “our industry should channel as much of its resources as possible towards the accomplishment of this goal. ANA has been working on this for two years both globally, in conjunction with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), and in the U.S. In the U.S., we are making excellent progress piloting component tests for VID with ComScore, and exploration work with panel providers. Additionally, Input/Output and Data Flow workstreams are progressing towards an end-to-end test design and road maps to a pilot test next year.”

Pointing out that most past efforts to solve these measurement problems have “fallen short of their stated objectives,” the ANA noted that “making meaningful progress now requires a substantial commitment for real change accompanied by a significant pledge of resources to overcome the material barriers that have impeded past progress across the measurement ecosystem.”

Finally, the ANA called for transparency in the process. “The standards adopted must be made available for consideration by every advertiser, regardless of its individual spend on media,” it said. “This is necessary to insure an open and transparent market for all participants.”

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.