GroupM, the parent company to Mindshare, has been particularly vocal about its dislike of Facebook’s former practice of self-reporting on viewability. As John Montgomery, COO of GroupM Interaction, North America, stated bluntly to Facebook's Slotwiner onstage at the Clean Ads show, “You can’t measure yourself.”
And that’s partially because GroupM, Unilever and others have bristled at Facebook’s definition of viewability, which was seen as less stringent than their own requirements.
In Facebook’s view, viewability is achieved the moment an ad enters the screen of a desktop browser or a mobile app. According to the Media Rating Council, video ad impressions are counted when at least 50% of the ad is in view for at least two seconds. GroupM takes it a step further, demanding that 100% of the ad be in view for video, with audio on and autoplay off.
With Moat on board, advertisers and agencies will be able to get independent verification for their desired flavor of viewability metric.
While the partnership with Moat represents what GroupM Chief Investment Officer Rino Scanzoni called “progress,” he also pointed to the strong words spoken by WPP CEO Martin Sorrell at DMEXCO on Wednesday as a clear indication of the agency’s position on viewability.
Among other things, Sorrell noted during a presentation at the conference that “Facebook has a lot of work to do in terms of video and video viewability.”
Although Facebook is admittedly late to the third-party party, other publishers, including Yahoo, Fox, NBC, ABC and Hulu have already embraced third-party tags to verify online viewability. Independent measurement will likely trigger more spending on Facebook.
“Viewable ads based on our metrics verified by a third party is what we are interested in from an investment standpoint,” Scanzoni said. “It is clear that the marketplace has embraced the need for third-party verification.”
In addition to Facebook, Moat’s client list includes Unilever, Kellogg, Hulu, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and Twitter.