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Origin greenlights WFA's cross media measurement blueprint for development

04 Nov 2020  |  Michaela Jefferson 
Origin greenlights WFA's cross media measurement blueprint for development

ISBA's Project Origin has completed the first stage of its assessment of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA)'s proposed technical framework for cross media measurement, the first step towards the development of a solution in the UK.

The proposal, unveiled by the WFA and its Global Media Board earlier this year, leverages a Virtual ID (VID) and differential privacy methods, while preventing double-counting of impressions across media.

The VID solution offers a theoretical approach towards tying together data sets from different video services - including broadcasters, Facebook and Google - without using cookies and whilst remaining GDPR compliant.

While the initial framework was proposed at a global level, the actual solution is being designed, owned, and built locally, with local joint industry independence across the methodology, standards and outputs.

In the UK, the VID framework has now been subjected to "extensive scrutiny" and assessment by independent audience measurement experts RSMB across a 10-week interrogation period.

According to Origin, these independent assessments found the WFA's proposals to be "credible and worthy of further development", calling it "an elegant solution with sensible trade-offs between likely accuracy in the prediction of cross-media duplications and the practicality of the process".

“For a project as important and critical to the industry as Origin, it is vital the fundamentals of what we do are grounded in the highest research rigour, shown to be independent, and open to scrutiny," said Joe Lewis, research lead for Project Origin.

"That is why we chose to work with independent audience measurement experts RSMB, whose experience of complex data integration solutions within audience measurement is second to none."

With the architectural blueprint now approved, the next step for Origin is an end to end pilot as a proof of concept of the solution, initially based on synthetic data but scaled over time to use live data.

Origin plans a nine-month test, pilot, and evaluation phase in 2021, taking on board key aspects of the RSMB work whilst also building and evaluating other key measurement input and output components.

Lewis added: "The RSMB work has highlighted a number of key areas for us to test and evaluate as part of the next phase of proof of concept tests to ensure the resulting solution is of high integrity, as well as innovative proposals for how TV data should be integrated. There is more work to be done working collaboratively with the industry, but this is a big positive step forward.”

Origin's aim is to develop cross media measurement in the UK to address the needs of advertisers, which need to understand and plan campaigns across digital and broadcast platforms.

At present, advertisers point to a lack of either a standardised approach to video and display measurement or a common measurement approach across media, particularly across digital platforms and between digital platforms and broadcaster TV.

Commenting on the news, Benjamin S. Jankowski, senior vice president media at Mastercard and a project sponsor of the WFA cross media measurement initiative, said: “As global marketers, we’ve identified what it is we want and brought the industry together to develop a true cross media measurement solution.

"This is a massively complex task and it has taken a huge effort to develop a technical framework. Now it is fantastic to see local initiatives, starting in the UK and the US, bring this to reality in the marketplace.

"The work done by RSMB within Project Origin is highly encouraging, and sets a path to developing a potential framework that can not only work for the UK, but also potentially be scaled globally across markets. This is a major milestone and we look forward to continue to work with ISBA and the Project Origin team as part of their next phase of developments.”

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