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4As, ANA, IAB Start Cross-Media Study

Three advertising industry trade associations announced that they are trying to create a new currency for online media and a better measurement system for cross-platform marketing programs.

The initiative is called "Making Measurement Make Sense," and is being undertaken by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the Association of National Advertisersand the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

The trade groups have hired Bain & Company and MediaLink to support the initiative.

The goals of the program are to define metrics and measurement systems to simplify planning, buying and evaluating digital media, and come up with common currency for measuring online exposures and developing a methodology for cross media measurement.

"The leading marketing and media trade organizations have united to spearhead an ecosystem-wide solution to many of the critical issues in measurement," said Nancy Hill, president of the 4As in a statement. "The confusion in this area has added costs to advertising agencies, which have been forced to use, subsidize and staff around increasing numbers of metrics and data in order to plan, purchase and post-analyze their media buys. This initiative will streamline and simplify those processes."

"It is indeed time for the industry leaders to develop a ‘currency' that is widely and consistently accepted and adopted," said Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the ANA.  "Online media has an abundance of metrics, but none that serve as currency across the ecosystem.  This process will allow the industry to use consistent measurements to evaluate a program's return."

The program was announced during the IAB's annual leadership meeting on Monday.