ARF Launches Project Looking at Measurement of Attention

Advertising Research Foundation

The Advertising Research Foundation said it was launching an initiative to study attempts to measure attention and move attention metrics from the lab to field applications.

The ARF Attention Validation Project has goals to define attention as measured by neurometric response technology and determine if that predicts the performance of ads and content; to test the validity and replicability of measure of attention-based ads on artificial intelligence and machine learning; and to see if measuring attention is good for evaluating where to place ads.

“Recent years have seen increasing interest in direct measures of cognitive and emotional response to advertising,” ARF president and CEO Scott McDonald said.

Also: Scripps Networks To Use TVision Attention Data During Upfronts

“As a result, a number of new services have entered the marketplace with different approaches to the measurement of attention and/or emotional responses to ads. This excitement has caused some to push for incorporating these measures into next-generation currencies for media buying. But, we still don’t know enough about the reliability and validity of these measures and their rightful application to advertising and media evaluation,” McDonald said. “It is the ARF’s view that these discussions of attention-based currencies are premature in the absence of better information on the validity, reliability and predictive power of these measures. That’s what this study seeks to address.”

The ARF is recruiting an advisory panel of buyers, measurement providers and independent experts. A final report is expected to recommend best practices and propose standards for the industry to use. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.