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Global advertisers launch drive to establish cross-media measurement principles

Cross Media Working Group participants include world’s biggest marketers and markets, tech firms, broadcasters and agency holding groups

Two-day meeting during Advertising Week NY identifies next steps for progress

/ Introduction

An advertiser-focused group has launched a global initiative designed to make the advertiser voice heard on the topic of cross-media measurement.

At the core of the ‘Cross Media Working Group’ is the WFA and key advertisers from WFA’s Global Media Board, including EA, Mastercard, P&G and Unilever. The effort is being driven, arm-in-arm, with some of the key advertiser associations from WFA’s network that have been driving change in the way media is measured in their markets. This includes the ANA (US) and ISBA (UK), both of which are working on their own respective measurement initiatives. Also included are ACA (Canada), OWM (Germany), Swedish Advertisers, Union des Marques (France).

The group aims to find cross-industry consensus on key global principles for measurement, with broadcasters, digital platforms and measurement companies also involved in the initiative.

The goal is to speed up the implementation of more consistent measurement without having to invent a separate solution for every market. The initiative will build on work already carried out and aims to deliver on the challenges of third-party verification and measurement outlined in the WFA’s Media Charter, published in 2018, which is an ongoing source of advertiser frustration.

“Meaningful cross-audience measurement represents a step-change for marketers in understanding the impact of their marketing investment. But with great promise comes great complexity so there are many challenges to work through. Our first goal is to identify the global principles that can help accelerate the adoption of cross-media measurement, enabling more individual markets to adapt a common platform while also reflecting local market custom and practice,” said Stephan Loerke, CEO, WFA.

The group has been meeting for several months to identify common ground between current cross-media measurement initiatives in markets such as France, Germany, Sweden, UK and the US. During Advertising Week in New York the group met for a two-day session, designed to continue the work of identifying areas of consensus and disagreement.

That work has identified four key areas where more work and consultation is required to build consensus:

  • Privacy: Cross-media measurement depends on data being provided by various sources (platforms, publishers, broadcasters, measurement companies and others). It’s critically important that this is shared in a manner that respects consumer privacy and is in line with both existing and emerging privacy regulation.
  • Measurement infrastructure or ‘pipework’: Cross-media measurement requires a complex infrastructure of components and data. Decisions are required as to how best to connect these, for example, the role for TV panels, calibration with other sources as well as the method of audience de-duplication.
  • Metrics and data: Cross-media measurement requires consistent definitions and metrics to enable like-for-like comparisons between media. The solution may involve establishing a single definition or more than one definition but there has to be a means of comparing each. The group will have to identify the minimum datasets required to deliver this and how they flow through the above pipework.
  • Governance: Cross-media measurement requires clear governance in order to protect privacy, ensure objectivity and enable fair decision-making. Decisions are required as to how this should be governed and funded, where the measurement should ‘live’ and who should provide it.

Work sessions in NY have identified baseline principles for several of these areas and the next steps will be to build on these ideas and then interrogate and stress-test the principles developed.

The aim of the collaborative project will be to build principles, built on agreement and commitment from the industry, which can become the foundations for potential solutions.

“The goal is to establish consensus and move the debate along before handing over to those closer to implementation to take the next, critical steps. The more work that can be done centrally to aid markets and marketers, the better”, said Stephan Loerke, CEO, WFA.

“ISBA and its members are not alone in striving for independent, accountable cross-media measurement. To succeed, we know that efforts from all parts of the globe must come together to provide a single set of principles and standards that can be applied in individual markets. Given the fragmented nature of the audience measurement landscape today, it is vital that advertisers take the lead,” said Phil Smith, Director General at ISBA (UK).

“The ANA is committed to developing a consensus concerning the all-important issue of cross media measurement,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “We are determined to bring the voice of the marketer to bear in this debate, which is the reason for the newly created ANA division dedicated to measurement. The work the WFA is doing in measurement is vitally important, and the ANA will continue to actively participate in this global initiative.”

Key digital platforms and publishers including Facebook, Google and Twitter are also participating in the initiative as are leading broadcasters from either side of the Atlantic such as NBCUniversal and RTL.

Other participants include representatives from all the major advertising holding groups and the Media Ratings Council (MRC). The MRC recently released its own Cross-Media Measurement Standards, which are a critical reference point for the WFA group.

“For too long the industry has continued to create siloed measurement solutions proprietary to specific platforms, publishers, media type, or geography. This cripples marketers’ ability to gain a true understanding of the unique reach, penetration and impact of our marketing investments. We can no longer accept this level of gratuitous fragmentation in today’s data-driven marketing landscape.” Belinda Smith, WFA Executive Committee Member, Head of Global Marketing Intelligence, EA.

“Technology and the insights we can pull from current tools has the potential to help us better understand how people are receiving and acting on the messages they receive. Developing a set of industry principles will help raise the bar and make every interaction more meaningful to both the consumer and the brand. We look forward to collaborating with the media community to deliver this new framework,” Ben Jankowski, Co-Chair WFA Media Forum and SVP of Global Media at Mastercard.

“We’ve been talking about cross-platform media transparency through cross-platform media measurement for far too long,” said Marc Pritchard, P&G Chief Brand Officer. “It’s time to get on with it and this is a positive step in the right direction.”

“As part of Unilever’s Responsibility Framework, we are committed to building Responsible Infrastructure. Cross Media Measurement is a critical component that allows us to have real transparency of media performance, assessing unduplicated reach and impact across publishers, platforms and screens in a privacy-safe way. We are pleased to be founding members of this wider WFA initiative scaling existing efforts and rallying the industry to push for more accountability in measurement.” Luis Di Como, EVP Global Media, Unilever.

In today’s fast evolving media landscape characterised by changing viewing behaviours across screens and platforms, audience measurement too must evolve. As a growing amount of companies develop proprietary solutions in an attempt to solve part of the equation, it seems increasingly clear that the adoption of common industry guidelines is a much better option. egta, the Brussels-based network of over 150 TV/video and radio/audio content monetisation and ad sales companies warmly welcomes and supports the WFA’s determination to clearly lay down the needs of advertisers and build consensus around these among all parties involved. TV and radio companies are determined to help raise the bar for the whole industry and will do their utmost both individually and as members of egta to support this process and continue to meet – through both their on air and on line properties – advertisers’ legitimate demands for brand safety, transparency and access to reliable and verified data.”Malin Hager, President, egta and Chief Commercial Officer of TV4 Sweden

“The complexity of modern advertising requires more complete cross media measurement systems built with privacy at the core. This will enable advertisers a more comprehensive understanding of their media investments, ultimately resulting in a better experience for consumers. We applaud the WFA for recognizing this and support bringing the industry together to design a global, privacy-safe solution,”Brad Smallwood, VP Measurement and Insights, Facebook

“The need for privacy-safe cross media measurement has never been greater. Despite access to a number of measurement solutions, advertisers still lack the ability to make media investment decisions using a common, comparable approach across all channels. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the WFA and are committed to supporting this critical initiative.” Kirk Perry, President, Global Client and Agency Solutions, Google

“We fully support the WFA initiative: There is no alternative to cross-media and cross-device measurement which is why great efforts are being made in several markets, Germany among them, with notable success. However, as many of the biggest advertisers are global companies our local initiatives need to reflect, and adapt to, their requirements. Today, our industry, too, needs to think in global dimensions to secure the highest degree of support from all market participants,” said Karin Immenroth, Chief Data & Analytics Officer, RTL Deutschland

Contact us

For more information or questions, please contact Matt Green
at m.green@wfanet.org.

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