MRC Issues Mobile Viewable Advertising Impression Measurement Guidelines for Public Comment Period

Draft Version Outlines Proposed Rules for Mobile Viewability Measurement; Available for 30-Day Review

NEW YORK, April 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Media Rating Council (MRC) announced that a draft version of the Mobile Viewable Advertising Impression Guidelines is now available for public review and commentary. The document, which proposes guidance for measuring a mobile viewable impression – a measurement of a moment at which the opportunity-to-see a mobile advertisement is established – will be available for public comments through April 30, 2016.

Upon its completion, the Guidelines document will provide industry guidance for the measurement of viewable impressions in Mobile Web and Mobile In-Application (In-App) environments. The final version of the document, which may incorporate additional feedback received during this public comment period, will supersede all previous MRC guidance on the measurement of viewable impressions in mobile environments (including MRC’s Interim Guidance on Mobile Viewable Impression Measurement, issued in May 2015 and updated in November 2015). As with their desktop counterparts, mobile viewable advertising impressions will serve as a building block for additional, future metrics that will measure the effectiveness of an ad’s message.

“The mobile environment is multilayered and still evolving,” said David Gunzerath, SVP and Associate Director, Media Rating Council. “Developing a viewability standard for measuring the opportunity-to-see an ad in mobile environments requires substantial cross-industry input and the balancing of a wide range of interests. But once established, it will be a significant step forward for the digital marketing world, and will enable us to build upon these foundational metrics toward future advanced metrics that will more fully measure ad engagement and effectiveness.”

Key components of this draft version of the Mobile Viewable Ad Impression Guidelines include:

  • Minimum thresholds for measuring whether an impression is viewable: The draft proposes that display and video advertisements in mobile environments follow the same minimum time and pixel standards as their desktop
  • Notation of ongoing evaluation of “newsfeed” environments: MRC will continue to analyze data between now and when the final version of the Guidelines is issued to determine if the final draft should establish different time thresholds for ads in mobile newsfeed environments. As of today, MRC has not concluded that different thresholds are necessary.
  • Modification of Mobile Web/In Application Ad Definitions: The definition of mobile web ads now includes those ads launched to an embedded web browser from within a mobile app. The Interim Guidance had categorized these ads as mobile in app, not mobile web.
  • The use of SDKs and APIs in mobile viewability measurement: The draft includes details to guide the use of Software Development Kits (SDKs) and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in mobile viewability measurement, and outlines specific quality control requirements for these.
  • Continued absence of the Loaded Ad metric: As previously announced in November 2015, MRC has concluded this metric, which was introduced in the May 2015 Interim Guidance document, is not necessary. It was originally designed as a temporary solution that recognized previous limitations in measurers’ capabilities for determining viewable impressions in mobile in app environments.

This Guidelines draft was developed in collaboration with IAB, MMA, and a large working group (approx. 200 participants), who supplied their input and provided data for MRC analysis to inform the guidelines. Participants in the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative, a joint initiative of the ANA, 4A’s and IAB, were also instrumental in the development of this document.

During the 30 day public commentary period, interested parties can review the document here and provide commentary or suggested revisions via email to Ron Pinelli, The MRC will consider feedback received during this period before preparing a revised version that will be reviewed with the working group, and is targeted for final release later in Q2 2016. Once final, measurers currently accredited against the Interim Guidance will have 90 days to adopt any changes that may be necessary for compliance.

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About the Media Rating Council (MRC)
The MRC is a non-profit industry association established in 1963 composed of leading television, radio, print and Internet companies, as well as advertisers, advertising agencies and trade associations whose goal is to ensure measurement services that are valid, reliable and effective.  Measurement services desiring MRC Accreditation are required to disclose to their customers all methodological aspects of their service; comply with the MRC Minimum Standards for Media Rating Research and other standards MRC produces; and submit to MRC-designed audits to authenticate and illuminate their procedures.  In addition, the MRC membership actively pursues research issues they consider priorities in an effort to improve the quality of research in the marketplace. Currently approximately 110 research products are audited by the MRC.


Source: MRC Issues Mobile Viewable Advertising Impression Measurement Guidelines for Public Comment Period