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Mike Fletcher 

WFA unveils cross-media measurement solution

WFA unveils cross-media measurement solution

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) believes it has the answer to cross-media measurement and has launched a framework plus technical proposal, which it hopes will ultimately give brands a better overview of the reach and frequency of their advertising.

The WFA and its 14-strong Global Media Board have been developing the framework since October last year.

The initiative has been steered by global advertisers and associations including the ANA, ISBA, Union des Marques, OWM, Deutsche Telekom, Mars, Mastercard, Nestle, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever and others.

Cross-industry consultation has identified cross-media measurement needs, as well as the pragmatic principles that advertisers believe all solutions should be bound by.

The technical proposal, which meets the principles of 'transparency', 'neutrality' and 'auditing' outlined in the framework, has been developed in partnership with digital platforms, including Facebook and Google. It will now be tested by the UK and U.S, with ISBA and the ANA respectively leading local efforts.

“Advertisers have long struggled with poor-quality data that doesn’t allow them to properly assess how best to invest their ad budgets across multiple platforms and media,” said Stephan Loerke, CEO of WFA. “This body of work provides a blueprint to build a cross-media measurement solution that responds to advertiser needs.”

The technical proposal leverages a Virtual ID (VID) and differential privacy methods, while preventing double-counting of impressions across media.

In delivering improved cross-media frequency control, consumers will benefit by not being unintentionally targeted by the same ad across different media channels, potentially addressing one of the key motivators behind ad blocking.

“We need complete, open, transparent and future-proofed cross media measurement to enable consumers to have a better viewing experience with less annoying repetition, advertisers to be confident that their media budgets are being invested effectively and efficiently, and media companies to be rewarded for delivering high levels of reach and engagement. This is mission-critical,” said Kanishka Das, senior director, Global Media Analytics & Insights at Procter & Gamble.

“This programme, from its guiding principles led by Unilever’s Responsibility Framework to the technical blueprint produced by the WFA, ISBA, ANA and a diverse collection of advertisers, is a critical step towards providing more accountable, transparent and accurate media measurement for all parties,” added Sarah Mansfield, VP Global Media, Unilever.

In the UK, ISBA's Project Origin is being developed against the principles outlined in the WFA framework, working with a range of advertisers, publishers and platforms.

Now into its second phase, Origin aims to become one of the first global implementations of the framework. According to ISBA, validation is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, with the next step being to develop a prototype for UK cross-media measurement in 2021.

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