IAB Australia online audience measurement Town Hall meeting stirs industry interest and action

New metrics needed to take digital advertising to 50 percent of total advertising spend

25th March 2014: Publishers, agencies and advertisers have joined with the MFA and AANA at IAB Australia's Town Hall meeting to discuss the way forward for online audience measurement in Australia. The event, which was attended by 110 industry representatives, but excluded measurement vendors, explored in a free and frank discussion the issues identified by IAB Australia in its Positioning Paper on the tender process, audience verification and viewability.

IAB Australia also announced the timings for the Online Audience Meaurement tender process, noting it will release its invitation to tender documentation to vendors on 28th April 2014 and that it will host a vendor briefing on 1st May 2014. Vendor submissions will be due by 20th June 2014 and the review period will commence on 23rd June2014. A decision will be made by the end of the year, with Nielsen's preferred supplier status expiring in December 2014.

Commenting in his opening remarks at the meeting, Mark Britt, Chair of IAB Australia said: "Our industry tends to have more critics than contributors, so this Town Hall meeting is the ideal opportuity for as many people to contribute to the review of our online audience measurement requirements. The renewal of the Deed will represent a signficant milestone for the industry so it's important to have as many experts invested in this issue as possible."

Jonathan Betts, Group Business Director at ZenithOptimedia Group, who was invited to deliver an agency perspective at the Town Hall meeting, noted that while the industry has experienced a meteoric rise of digital advertising to reach 25 percent of all advertising spend, to reach a projected 50 percent of total spend, new metrics and approaches were needed.

"Having an independent currency allows us to leave our differences aside and work on great ideas for our clients. Measurability has been key to helping us reach the 25 percent mark, but we need new metrics and the right measures for brands as they will be the investors that help the industry's continued growth. We need to think about making our audience measurement data clear, consider how it's creating value and how we as an industry use it to make investment decisions for our audiences," said Betts.

IAB Australia's Deed Renewal process will be conducted via a transparent tender process, which will see a Technical Review Committee drawn from IAB Australia's Measurement Council membership consider all vendor submissions. Ian Muir will be the independent chair for the process and both the MFA and AANA will also be involved. TressCox Lawyers will oversee the entire process.

"TressCox involvement in the deed is to ensure the process of selecting a preferred supplier is run with diligence, fairness and impartiality. In terms of the legal process there will be two external pieces that will now be constructed: tender documentation to vendors and creating a document with clear evaluation criteria," said Mark Bamford, Partner at TressCox.

IAB Australia's objective with the appointment of a preferred supplier or suppliers for the provision of an online audience measurement services is to ensure greater accuracy in audience measurement which will lead to greater credibility, confidence and investment in digital advertising. Nielsen is currently the sole and exclusive preferred supplier of Online Audience Measurement services in Australia for IAB Australia following a tender process conducted in 2011 which was overseen by a specially convened Technical Review Group.

Key Tender Process Dates:

W/C 24th:                     March Technical review group kick off
28th April:                   Invitation to tender documentation released to vendors
1st May:                        Vendor Briefing
20th June:                    Vendor submissions due
23rd June:                    Review period commences
December 2014:       Nielsen preferred supplier status expires

About the Interactive Advertising Bureau
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Limited is the peak trade association for online advertising in Australia and was incorporated in July 2010. As one of over 40 IAB offices globally, and with a rapidly growing membership, IAB Australia's principal objective is to support and enable the media and marketing industry to ensure that they thrive in the digital economy.

IAB Australia's board includes representatives of Carsales.com, Fairfax Media, Google, Mi9, Network Ten, News Australia, REA Group, Telstra Media Group, TressCox Lawyers and Yahoo!7. It has four objectives:

  • To be the 'big tent' for the entire digital advertising industry and define the future of digital advertising
  • To deliver the benefits of ad funded interactive experiences to Australians
  • To develop, coordinate and promote industry standards and guidelines that make interactive advertising a simpler and more attractive medium for agencies, advertisers and marketers
  • To prove and promote the effectiveness of interactive advertising to advertisers, agencies, marketers and the press

For further information about IAB Australia please visit: www.iabaustralia.com.au

For further information please contact:

Alice Manners
CEO - IAB Australia
T: 0408 107 399
E: alice.manners@iabaustralia.com.au

Pru Quinlan
Einsteinz Communications
T: (02) 8905 0995
E: pru@einsteinz.com.au