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The industry needs metrics that are trusted, transparent and easily verified: Babak Pahlavan, Google

02-March-2017
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The industry needs metrics that are trusted, transparent and easily verified: Babak Pahlavan, Google

Babak Pahlavan, Senior Director of Product Management, Analytics Solutions and Measurement, Google, recently posted a blog about building trust and increasing transparency with MRC-accredited measurement. He wrote:

Measurement has been top of mind in our recent conversations with advertisers, and for good reason. As we’ve said many times, “If you can’t measure it, how do you know it worked?” Committing to measurement is critical, but just the first step. We believe that the industry needs metrics that are trusted, transparent and easily verified. Today, we’re pleased to share several updates on the work we’re doing with third party verification and audit partners to ensure that the metrics available from Google are objective and accurate.

Transparency and trust are the core principles of our measurement strategy. We strongly believe in the need for third-party accreditation through the Media Rating Council (MRC). We gained our first accreditations back in 2006, and for over 10 years we’ve partnered with the MRC, advocating for standards across the industry and contributing to ongoing discussions that set guidelines for measuring the effectiveness of ads. We currently maintain over 30 MRC accreditations across display and video, desktop and mobile web, mobile apps, and clicks, plays, impressions and viewability.

MRC accreditation for third party viewability reporting on YouTube:

In 2016, we completed integrations with Moat, Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify to enable third-party viewability reporting on YouTube. These integrations offer advertisers additional choice for measuring viewability on YouTube, alongside Active View.

Today, we’re announcing that each of these integrations will undergo a stringent, independent audit for MRC accreditation. The audit will validate that data collection, aggregation and reporting for served video impressions, viewable impressions, related viewability statistics and General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) across desktop and mobile for each integration adheres to MRC and IAB standards. In short, advertisers will have even greater confidence in the metrics returned by these third party partners about their campaigns on YouTube.

New MRC accreditations for DoubleClick and AdWords:

Our commitment to MRC accreditation goes beyond our media to include our platform solutions as well.  We maintain several accreditations for DoubleClick already, and today we’re announcing that we are now fully accredited for video impressions and viewability statistics for desktop web, mobile web and mobile app in DoubleClick Campaign Manager. 

We are also seeking MRC accreditation for video impressions and viewability statistics and GIVT detection for display and video in both AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager. These MRC audits will span across all video available through these buying platforms — including YouTube and partner inventory.

Transparency and trust are fundamental to measurement, and they’re fundamental to our strategy for giving marketers and publishers the metrics and insights they need to make better decisions. A solid foundation has been created, but there is much more work to do. In 2017, we’ll continue to seek ways to raise the bar on transparent and trustworthy measurement, and we welcome your partnership along the way.

Experts comment:

“Google’s announcement that they are undertaking an independent audit of their 3rd party viewability reporting integrations is a positive step forward for marketers. At the ANA, our goal is to create transparency for the advertising supply chain. This action from Google today demonstrates their commitment to partnering with us to deliver this goal,” said Bob Liodice, President and CEO, Association for National Advertisers.

"Google's commitment to MRC's initiatives has been unwavering over time, and their participation in industry standards projects has been helpful. We look forward to working on these new audits and expanding the industry's trust as it relates to YouTube's third party integrations and DoubleClick Bid Manager," said George Ivie, CEO and Executive Director, Media Rating Council.

“Google’s announcement to bring more media transparency is important progress that will help move the industry forward.  At P&G, we are encouraged by Google’s actions, which should make a positive impact on creating a clean and productive media supply chain,” said Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble.

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