Press Release: Media Rating Council Lifts Advisory on Viewable Impressions for Display Ads

Issues Viewable Impression Measurement Guidelines Draft and

Advises Gating Period Remain in Place for Viewable Video Ads through June 30, 2014


March 31, 2014 – New York – The Media Rating Council (MRC) announced today that it has lifted its advisory on Viewable Impressions for display advertising, giving a green light to the industry to begin transacting on the new metric for the first time.

The MRC in collaboration with the IAB’s Emerging Innovations Task Force, a large working group consisting of a wide range of industry stakeholders, has released its Viewable Impression Measurement Guidelines, which spell out specific parameters for how viewable impressions should be measured. The Guidelines draft, which has been in the works for more than a year, will be circulated for a 30-day period for public review to ensure broad dissemination and to permit for minor outstanding revisions.

The Guidelines state that 50 percent of pixels must be in the viewable portion of an internet browser for a minimum of one continuous second to qualify as a viewable display impression. The shift from a “served” impression to a viewable impression standard will provide marketers with a more accurate way to quantify their investment and deliver increased value for all parties involved in brand advertising.

“The Viewable Impression metric represents a huge step forward in the online advertising landscape,” said George W. Ivie, Executive Director and CEO, MRC. “By adopting this standard for viewable display impressions, the entire marketplace – agencies, marketers and publishers – will benefit from the improved quality and accountability of digital advertising.  This shift will ultimately benefit the entire advertising ecosystem by paving the way to better cross-platform campaign planning and analysis.”

Because the MRC expected the introduction of viewable impressions as a currency metric to have an immense impact on the complex advertising ecosystem, it first issued an advisory in November 2012 to caution the marketplace about transacting on viewable impressions. This was due to significant measurement issues that existed at the time which prevented a seamless transition from a digital advertising currency based on served impressions to one based on viewable impressions. Now that those issues have been largely resolved, the MRC has lifted the advisory for display advertising. To provide the industry with the opportunity to prepare for the more recently introduced parameters for what will constitute a viewable video impression, the MRC advises a gating period remain in place for transacting on Viewable Video Impressions until June 30, 2014.

The viewable impression for display ads was developed in alignment with the Five Guiding Principles of Digital Measurement outlined by the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative. 3MS was founded by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), driven by a need across the marketing and advertising industry for clear and standards-based metrics for interactive advertising that are comparable to legacy media and based on the fundamental opportunity for consumers to see online ads. The Media Rating Council (MRC) is responsible for setting and implementing measurement standards for the industry as well as auditing and accrediting vendors to verify compliance with the standards. To date, 11 vendors have been accredited by MRC for their viewability solutions.

For more information from 3MS about Viewable Impressions and the Measurement Guidelines, please visit:

Related Links:

MRC Industry Communication – for additional information on MRC’s Advisory Lift

List of MRC Accredited Vendors


About the Media Rating Council (MRC)

The MRC is a non-profit industry association established in 1964 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 90 research products are audited by the MRC.


About Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS)

Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) is an initiative founded by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Founded in 2011, the goal of 3MS is to revolutionize the way digital media is measured, planned and transacted across the advertising industry in order to make it a more valuable medium for everyone involved in brand advertising.  3MS works closely with the Media Rating Council (MRC), which is responsible for setting and implementing measurement standards, on five key issues: defining impressions, establishing audience currency; creating a standard classification of ad units; defining ad performance metrics; and establishing brand attitudinal measures. For more information on the 3MS initiative and its goals please visit: