Press Release: Media Rating Council Issues Invalid Traffic Detection and Filtration Guidelines for Public Comment Period

Addendum to Digital Measurement Guidelines Now Available for Review


NEW YORK – July 1, 2015 – Today, the Media Rating Council (MRC) announced that the Invalid Traffic Detection and Filtration Guidelines Addendum is now available for public review and commentary. The 30-day public comment period extends through July 30, 2015.

The guidelines are aimed at modernizing industry measurement standards for the filtration and disclosure of invalid traffic (IVT) to better address the risks that exist in today’s digital media environment. The IVT Detection and Filtration guidance significantly expands existing filtration requirements and provides a much stronger structure to help ensure that measurers have processes in place to assess and detect new IVT scenarios as they emerge. The final IVT Detection and Filtration Guidance will serve as an addendum to all accreditation procedures; all vendors seeking accreditation or continuation of accreditation for any digital measurement processes will be assessed against the guidance.

“The MRC is committed to facilitating improvements to measurement quality that make the digital media environment a more trusted place to transact business, for all parties involved,” said George W. Ivie, MRC’s Executive Director and CEO. “Invalid traffic is posing a serious threat to marketplace confidence in a healthy and vibrant digital advertising ecosystem,” Ivie continued. “We have worked with some of the industry’s most knowledgeable experts to strengthen the measurement requirements around how invalid traffic is detected and reported.”

The IVT Detection and Filtration Guidance delineates IVT into two categories:

  1. General Invalid Traffic is categorized as traffic that generally can be identified through routine means of filtration. This includes bots, crawlers and invalid proxy traffic.
  2. Sophisticated Invalid Traffic is identified through advanced analytics. This traffic includes traffic originating from hijacked devices, malware or misappropriated content.

Non-human traffic and fraud are issues that need to be addressed throughout the digital advertising ecosystem, and are currently being tackled by several groups, including the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG). MRC’s efforts are in coordination with TAG’s work and others, with MRC specifically focused on how these issues affect the quality of measurement. The initiative’s principal co-sponsors, along with the MRC, include IAB and MMA.

During the 30-day public comment period, interested parties can download a copy of the draft here, and provide commentary or suggested revisions via email (comments on the draft can be sent to Revisions made as a result of these comments will be reviewed with the working group – over 200+ organizations including publishers, networks, agencies, auditors, technology vendors and industry associations – prior to the release of the final version of the Guidelines.

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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 100 research products are audited by the MRC.