IAB chair Mark Britt tells Nielsen critics to get involved in online measurement review

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Mark Britt, chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), has told a Town Hall meeting of some of the media industry’s most senior members they need to become more involved in the consultation process for a preferred provider of online audience measurement.

Last week the IAB hosted the first of two public Town Hall meetings with its members and representatives from the Media Federation of Australia and Australian Association of National Advertisers to allow the industry to have its say about the what is needed in the new online audience measurement contract which is currently held by Nielsen. 

Britt, who is the CEO of Mi9, told the audience critics of the current contract provider Nielsen needed to become involved in the process.

“Our industry tends to have more critics than contributors, so this Town Hall meeting is the ideal opportunity for as many people to contribute to the review of our online audience measurement requirements,” said Britt. “The renewal of the deed will represent a significant milestone for the industry so it’s important to have as many experts invested in this issue as possible.”

Nielsen has been subject to criticism from some corners of the industry for errors and discrepancies with the both online and video numbers, and has also been accused of not reflecting the growth that some publishers, such as The Guardian, claim they are seeing in their internal metrics.

As Mumbrella revealed in February, the IAB will shortly begin an open tender process for its preferred provider of online audience measurement. Nielsen has held the contract since 2011 and had the contract renewed without tender last year.

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 12.29.37 PMAt the Town Hall last week the IAB Australia announced the timings for the tender process, noting it will release its invitation to tender documentation to vendors on April 28 and will host a vendor briefing on May 1, with Nielsen’s preferred supplier status expiring in December 2014.

Commenting on Britt’s opening remarks Jonathan Betts, group business director at media agency ZenithOptimedia, said as digital advertising expands to be be an increasingly significant part of advertising spend new metrics and approaches were needed by the industry.

“Having an independent currency allows us to leave our differences aside and work on great ideas for our clients. Measurability has been key to helping us reach the 25 percent mark, but we need new metrics and the right measures for brands as they will be the investors that help the industry’s continued growth. We need to think about making our audience measurement data clear, consider how it’s creating value and how we as a an industry use it to make investment decisions for our audiences,” said Betts.

IAB Australia said the deed renewal process would be conducted via a transparent tender process, which will see a technical review committee drawn from IAB Australia’s Measurement Council membership.

Vendor submissions will be due by June 20 and a decision will be made by the end of the year after all vendor submissions have been considered.

Former CEO of Oztam and veteran of media audience measurement Ian Muir will be the independent chair for the process and both the MFA and AANA will also be involved. TressCox Lawyers will also oversee the entire process.

Nic Christensen 



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