ComScore ‘surprised and disappointed’ at Nielsen’s IAB contract extension without a pitch

any weinberger comscore

ComScore’s Weinberger

The boss of one of Nielsen’s biggest rivals to provide an online measurement service in Australia has expressed surprise at yesterday’s announcement that the Interactive Advertising Bureau is to extend the existing contract without a tender.

Two years ago Nielsen beat fellow tenderers Colmar Brunton with Gemius; ComScore; Roy Morgan Research with Effective Measure and Vizisense to the contract in a process led by then IAB CEO Paul Fisher. Fisher has since become Nielsen’s MD of media.

Yesterday’s extension for Nielsen was announced by the IAB’s research director Gai Le Roy, a previous VP of research at Nielsen Online.

Le Roy yesterday told Mumbrella that the extension was after “a thorough review” that indicated no other players would be capable of taking on the contract.

Last month Nielsen had to reissue its website news rankings after a problem with the data.

The process of extending the contract was led by interim IAB CEO Tony Prentice. Prentice was a former chairman of the IAB during his time at News Limited, a period during which he worked closely with Paul Fisher.

The contract gives the provider preferred audience measurement supplier status to the IAB’s members who include all of the major online players.

After losing out in 2011, Will Hodgman, ComScore’s international boss, told Mumbrella that his company had missed out because it did not have the same local connections as Nielsen. Pointing out that ComScore offered a hybrid measurement system – based on both site tags and an audience panel – in 43 other markets compered to Nielsen’s three, Hodgman said then: “Maybe the guys already there are not the best, but you know them. They made the expected choice. For better or worse, they went with what they knew.”

Hodgman pledged then to “go again” in the next tender round.

Today ComScore’s VP and MD for Australia and New Zealand Amy Weinberger told Mumbrella: “We are definitely surprised by the extension that the IAB has given. ComScore has continued to bring cutting edge products like advertising effectiveness and viewability to the market and will continue to do so in order to push the entire digital industry forward.

“Since the time of the initial tender, over two-and-a-half years ago, there have been major organizational changes at IAB AU. ComScore has a strong local operation in the ANZ market, so we are disappointed that we were not able to present our innovative new products to the IAB before the decision to extend.”


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