Is Digital Audience Accountability Going On Hiatus?

At a time when digital media appears to be accelerating share gains vs. traditional media, some big questions are looming regarding its underlying veracity, especially the accountability and measurement of its audience delivery.

This may not matter for some big marketers who appear to be increasingly focused on ecommerce results (i.e., sales) regardless of what the efficiency of its media buys are in terms of audience delivery, but an update from the Media Rating Council indicates many digital media platforms are reverting to a non-accredited industry standard.

According to the update, Nielsen has requested that the MRC put accreditation of its Digital Ad Ratings service on “hiatus” for a six-month period, but there was no disclosure as to why. Meanwhile, two major sources of digital audience measurement — Triton Digital and C3 Metrics — have had accreditation revoked by the MRC.

Meanwhile, one of digital advertising’s biggest players, Facebook, has been undergoing an audit of its methods for ensuring “brand safety” on its platform.

The moves send mixed signals to Madison Avenue about the accountability of digital media, even as demand appears to be surging, making me wonder if the kind of audience measurement necessary for brand-related targeting and advertising might not be taking a back seat to performance measures such as sales, conversions, etc.

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