The IAB challenged comScore and Nielsen//NetRatings last month to make their Internet measurements more reflective of the total population and make their methodologies more transparent.
The sentiments in the IAB’s open letter were subsequently echoed by The American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF). Search Engine Watch reports:
ARF President and CEO Bob Barocci said his organization believes there should be full transparency in “all major Internet audience measurement providers, including not just comScore and Nielsen//NetRatings.” He said this should include Quantcast, Hitwise and other third-party ad servers.
So far, only comScore and Nielsen//NetRatings have been targeted by the IAB. However, if things go as the IAB wishes, they might extend their open letter to include these companies and others.
comScore and Nielsen//NetRatings both responded within days to the IAB’s open letter. They have scheduled a closed meeting for May 16. Both companies have said they were willing to submit to the MRC audit the IAB suggested. Nielsen has even begun working toward MRC accreditation, a step further than the IAB requested.
But will anything really change? It may depend on the results of the audit, but both comScore and Nielsen//NetRatings seemed confident that their panel-based methodology would be vindicated.