STEVE HASKER: Online Campaign Ratings is the first comprehensive advertising measurement system that has existed. It is a rating or a GRP for reach and frequency by designated marketing area (DMA) that comes out on a daily basis that is comparable to TV. What it brings is a whole new level of accuracy to online measurement, firstly. Secondly, it brings a comparability to the rest of the marketing spend, principally TV, that hasn't existed today. That enables advertisers to demand and publishers to offer guarantees around the audiences that they're buying and selling.
How's the adoption?
We have had very significant uptake from the advertising community, led initially by Unilever. They were the first major advertiser to use OCR as their measurement system online. They've really been followed by a great many advertisers in the consumer packaged goods space, in the telecom space, in consumer electronics, in pharmaceutical, in almost every category you care to mention.
When you say a great many, are we talking hundreds?
You recently announced 15 online ad companies have embraced OCR. (press release) What's important about these relationships? Is it simply automated tagging, or is there more to it?
There are three things that we think are of significance here. One is the automated tagging, which streamlines the end‑to‑end process. The second is the delivery of the data in a raw form to these platforms. Third, it's a great marker of industry acceptance around the product, because these are very innovative, very fast‑moving players who decided to adopt this measurement system.
From a user‑experience standpoint, how does OCR work from an advertiser's point of view?
Against their target audience, they will be able to see what percent of the delivery was on‑target for every media property on which a campaign is running. They'll be able to see the age, the gender, the reach, the frequency, the DMA of the viewers, against each publisher, on a daily basis.
How much is riding on advertiser adoption of "Viewability"? What about the online GRP?
There's a lot of debate about what role viewability should play and how buyers and sellers of advertising should think about viewability. The premium publishers are likely to be advantaged if viewability really takes hold and gets traction, because more of their ads are delivered in premium content, above the fold and are viewable, in focus, all those good things.
Now there's the question, will a GRP really take hold in the online environment? Now that Online Campaign Ratings is 12 months old, our view is that yes it will, because of the adoption we've seen from advertisers, publishers, and agencies.
We think there are real trajectories here and there's real momentum that the GRPs comparability to TV will make it the standard of choice. Now, you put those two things together, viewability is likely to play a role. It remains unclear what role it will play. But the GRP is gathering momentum with each campaign and each day.
On a different note, can you comment on the recent patent lawsuits filed by comScore over ad verification technologies? (AdExchanger story) Nielsen is a partner to AdSafe, one of the companies that was targeted. Are you still working with AdSafe?
We are still working with AdSafe. We're very happy with that relationship and the product offering, its integration into OCR. I can't comment on the ongoing litigation.