Media Rating Council Finalizes Outcome Measurement Standards

George Ivie MRC
MRC Executive Director and CEO George Ivie (Image credit: Media Rating Council)

The Media Rating Council has released its final standards for measuring outcomes, an increasingly important statistic for media buyers and sellers trying to set the value for advertising.

The standards were developed through a process that included input from more than 100 media and advertising organizations. They’ve been endorsed by the Association of National Advertisers, the American Association of Advertising Agencies and other trade groups.

“These standards represent the realization of a new and critical phase of a long-term effort by MRC, in cooperation with other industry trade associations, to enhance advertising measurement,” MRC executive director and CEO George W. Ivie said.

“This initiative began more than a decade ago with projects designed to standardize measures of ad delivery, and has now progressed to the measurement of business outcomes that are associated with ad exposure,” Ivie said.

The standards note that outcomes analyzed, associated or attributed to media and advertising activities should be relevant, logical and aligned with user goals, while supported by consistent definitions and approaches; that interactions with ads and content must be clearly defined and empirically supported; and that the source and nature of data sets must be generally disclosed to users, along with details of collection parameters and any editing and cleaning applied as well as known biases or limitations associated with it. 

The standards encourage cross-media coverage for measurement of ads and contemplate a range of outcomes to be measured, from clicks, qualified leads, searches, Web visits and sales through return on advertising spending.

“With marketers increasingly looking to outcomes as the primary determinant of ad-spend effectiveness, it is critical that the industry has a clear set of standards against which providers of attribution measurement can be assessed,” ANA Group executive VP Bill Tucker said. “Of particular importance, these Standards were developed in conjunction with marketers, ensuring that they represent and address our needs. ANA members have called for the development of outcome standards as an industry priority, and we are pleased to have supported and participated in this significant endeavor.” ■

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.