vCE Represents Unique Measurement Solution that Improves Overall Transparency, Accountability and Monetization in the Digital Advertising Market
RESTON, VA – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today announced the launch of its Validated Campaign Essentials™ (vCE) product, a new measurement solution for validating digital ad delivery. vCE enables a holistic view of campaign delivery and a verified assessment of ad-exposed audiences via a single, third-party source. Unlike existing single-point solutions, it provides an unduplicated accounting of impressions delivered across a variety of dimensions, such as ads delivered in-view, in the right geography, in a brand safe environment and absent of fraudulent delivery. A U.S.-based vCE Charter Study involving 12 national premium brands found that, in many cases, ads are delivered but not in-view or on target and therefore never have a chance to make an impact.
“The display advertising market today is characterized by an overabundance of inventory, often residing on parts of a web page that are never viewed by the user. This dilutes the impact of campaigns for advertisers and represents a drag on prices to publishers,” said Dr. Magid Abraham, President and CEO of comScore. “Conversely, some ads below the fold are quite visible and deserve more credit. comScore’s introduction of vCE signals an evolution in digital advertising that will bring greater transparency and accountability to the market. Ultimately, this type of third-party validation will help identify and appropriately price the proportion of online ad inventory that delivers value, improve buying and selling decisions, and instill more confidence and trust in the industry.”
vCE enables a comprehensive, holistic view of validated impressions, which can be expressed as ‘validated gross rating points’, or vGRPs. This new metric reflects measurement of ads that were not only delivered, but that had an opportunity to have an impact on consumers. Validated impressions are also the basis for vCE’s campaign audience reports, which include reach and frequency, comprehensive demographics, and behavioral segments only for people with a valid exposure.
vCE Charter Study Findings
To better understand the quality of ad delivery today, comScore conducted a U.S.-based vCE Charter Study, which involved 12 national brands, 3,000 placements, 381,000 site domains and 1.7 billion ad impressions. Select advertisers from the charter study include Allstate, Chrysler, Discover, E*TRADE Financial, Ford, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Kimberly Clark, Kraft, and Sprint. All of the impressions analyzed in the study were delivered in iframes and none required publisher site pixels.
Topline study results are included below, and a full whitepaper with detailed insights and analysis will be published in March 2012.
– Across all charter campaigns measured, 69 percent of the ad impressions were classified as being ‘in-view.’* The remaining 31 percent were delivered but never seen by a consumer, a likely result of a consumer scrolling past the ad before it loaded or a consumer never scrolling the ad into view. In-view percentages varied by site and ranged from 7 percent to 91 percent.
– An average of 4 percent of ad impressions were delivered outside the desired geography, but individual campaigns ran as high as 15 percent. In many cases, ads were served in markets where the advertised product is not sold, meaning wasted ad spend and sub-optimal effectiveness results.
– 72 percent of Charter Study campaigns had at least some ads running next to content deemed “not brand safe” by the advertiser, meaning that the content is deemed objectionable by the brand. This type of unsafe delivery has the potential to damage the brand, creating a difficult situation for all members of the digital advertising ecosystem.
A separate UK-based vCE Charter Study is in progress, with enrollment currently underway. To learn more about participating in the study, please contact Mike Shaw ( email@example.com), Head of EMEA Advertising Effectiveness Products. vCE is available in the U.S. immediately and will be gradually rolled out in international markets throughout the first quarter of 2012.
*In-view parameters are consistent with those that have been recommended by an industry consortium called the ‘Making Measurement Make Sense’ initiative, consisting of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the American Association of National Advertisers (4A’s) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB.) These parameters say that at least 50 percent of the advertisement must be viewable for at least 1 second in order to be considered in-view.
Industry Leaders on vCE and vGRP
“One big issue with internet advertising is that not all ads that are served end up being seen. This is a core issue raised by the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative. In order for marketers to have the same confidence in the digital channel as they do in TV, we need measurement around the visibility of ads. What comScore is doing with the vGRP initiative based on validated impressions is an important step in that direction.”
–– Mike Donahue, EVP, Strategic Partnerships, 4As
“At Kellogg’s we are continually seeking to improve the overall effectiveness of every media dollar spent. Key to enabling our decisions is understanding who each impression reaches, how visible our ads are, and where the greatest efficiencies exist. Being able to validate our media delivery through a single source with vCE creates opportunities for both near real-time optimizations as well as enhanced future planning.”
––Aaron Fetters, Associate Director Global Digital Strategy and Analytics at Kellogg Company
“comScore’s new validated Campaign Essentials product is a step forward in addressing several fundamental issues surrounding the current state of counting online ad impressions. comScore’s introduction of validated ad impressions and vGRPs is aligned with the 3MS recommendations of moving the industry to a viable impression standard. vCE is an innovative solution that adds a level of transparency that is welcomed.”
—John Kahan, GM, Business and Customer Intelligence, Microsoft’s Online Services Division
“It is critical that we can understand the extent to which ads delivered on our sites are actually viewed by the intended audience. This type of insight allows us to improve our relationships with consumers and our advertising partners. comScore’s vCE is a welcome innovation, and I am particularly excited about how this measurement solution can help us optimize our site content and the advertising that we deliver on it.”
–– Scott McDonald, Senior Vice President, Research & Insights, Condé Nast
“The inclusion of vCE within the overall comScore suite of tools will offer us another metric to provide to our clients with the type of data they require and have been seeking for many years. They want to know that the money they are spending online is doing its job and will actually have a chance to make an impact. This type of third-party, holistic validation is a great start to do just that and is a win for all parties in the industry. Once standards are in place this can and will serve as a new currency in the marketplace.”
–– Julian Zilberbrand, SVP Global Digital Director, Technology Activation Group, Starcom Mediavest Group
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.