Trade Groups Plan Joint Meeting On Digital Ads

Issues include measurement and self regulation
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The American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Association of National Advertisers and the Interactive Advertising Bureau will hold an unprecedented joint board meeting in June in Chicago to discuss issues related to the future of advertising in a digital world.

News of the meeting was announced today by Nancy Hill, CEO of the 4As, during a session with her counterparts from the other two trade associations during the Four A's annual meeting in Los Angeles.

Bob Liodice, CEO of the ANA, said there would be three main items on the meeting agenda: Building brands in a digital environment, self regulation and measurement.

Liodice said that in order for the industry to be successful, all parts of it needed to collaborate and avoid government regulation.

The groups this year have been able to get the White House to endorse self regulation when it comes to addressing privacy issues involved in interactive and addressable advertising.

"Behavioral advertising faced the threat of regulation that would have affected all forms of data transfer," said Randall Rothenberg, CEO of the IAB. "Imagine the cost of that."

Liodice said a standardized system of measurement was needed in digital market. "We're not going anywhere without improved measurement.," he said, endorsing "an institution approach to enhancing digital measurement first, then more effective cross platform analysis."

The Media Rating Council is being asked to govern digital measurement.

"The MRC should be recast to be the consensus body for this industry to govern media measurement here and into the future and solve disputes in  TV, print and digital," said Rothenberg. The MRC will also be tasked with seeing disputes coming down the road and working to resolve them in real time.

"In talking to media agencies, they say you can't get clients to go into certain places because they don't have standard measurement," said Hill. "Everyone wants to embrace this new cross platform opportunity, but without a currency that looks alike, we're never going to get there."

Rothenberg said a task force of clients, agencies and media companies, has already agreed on some digital media principles. One is to adopt a viewable impression standard, rather than a served impression standard. Another is to develop a consensus make up of a digital gross ratings point that will be usable in planning, transactioning and optimization. That digital GRP should be ready for a pilot program in the next couple of months, he said.