Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The ANA, 4As and IAB Once Again Fall Short

It was only done under the best of auspices, I’m sure.

Three key industry associations coming together to announce their five principles of making digital measurement make sense.

While all five principles make some sense in theory, let me just discuss the first one here.

Principle #1 is to move to a “viewable impressions” standard and count real exposures online.

Instead of counting “served impressions,” those impressions recorded by ad servers as being delivered whether the ad unit is in a viewable space or not, the industry will now only count viewable impressions. Which means the ad needs to fully load and not hide beneath the fold, which the viewer rarely scrolls down to anyways.

And, just like that, integrity is restored to the impression business.

In my mind, where this all falls shorts is that they should have not just gone from served to viewable impressions. They should have gone from viewable to viewed impressions.

Because that’s really where the rubber meets the road, isn’t it?

Not whether an ad can be viewed. But, whether it actually was.

Is this measurable?

Certainly.

So why didn’t they push it this far?

While I can't say for certain, my guess is that because most ads aren’t viewed.

Which leaves advertisers, once again, buying possibility rather than reality.

Not too surprising, really.

After all, as we all know, it is far more lucrative to be paid for the possibility of success than it is for the reality of results.

At least, if you're the publisher.

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