MRC Issues Draft Version of Outcomes and Data Quality Standards

(Image credit: Pete Linforth from Pixabay )

NEW YORK—In an important step forward in the industry’s efforts to improve measurement, the Media Rating Council (MRC) has issued a draft version of its Outcomes and Data Quality Standards. 

The announcement opens a 60-day public comment period on the Standards. 

The standards are intended to both improve the quality of data and standardize the measurement of Outcomes resulting from advertising exposure.

MRC’s Outcomes Standards initiative was publicly announced in June 2020, with preliminary guidance issued in March of 2021.

Since the release of this preliminary guidance, the MRC has been working with the Outcomes Advisory Group (a large group of MRC members, practitioners and interested parties including ANA, 4A’s, IAB and ACA) to produce a Public Comment Draft of the Standards.

The Standards address various Outcomes measures and approaches, including attribution and Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA), Market Mix Modeling (MMM) and experiments, as well as the underlying data quality associated with these methods.

Key provisions include:

  • Guidance and requirements related to incorporating viewability, invalid traffic (IVT) filtration and audience measures into media and ad exposure attributed to Outcomes, building on previous MRC Standards;
  • Definitions and requirements for “funnel” metrics from interaction, engagement, direct outcomes and efficiency metrics;
  • Requirements for attribution approaches including MTA, such as decay curves, regression approaches, determining weight or value and lookback windows;
  • Requirements for MMM approaches, such as coverage, spend data, modeling parameters and external/environmental factors;
  • Requirements related to use of Test and Control approaches or experiments as validation, in combination or hybrid approaches and on a standalone basis;
  • Detailed guidance and requirements for underlying data quality, including identification and key privacy considerations.

MRC noted that it will consider the comments it receives during the 60-day public comment period, which ends August 7th.  Shortly after that date, MRC will produce a proposed final version of the Standards for review by the working group.  

It is expected that the final version of the Standards will be issued publicly before the end of Q3 2022. 

The draft standard can be accessed at

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.