NEWS15 February 2010

ANA hails tests measuring in-home commercial viewing

North America Technology

US— Ratings for individual commercials moved a step closer in the US this month with an announcement from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) of the successful completion of tests to measure ad viewing in the home.

Currently, ratings firm Nielsen only reports ad viewing as the average of all commercial minutes viewed live or in playback during a particular television programme. But in trials with the ANA, select advertisers agreed to encode their adverts with the same technology Nielsen uses to measure programme viewing.

According to the ANA, tests have shown it is technically possible to measure commercial viewing in the home, though it says “additional testing is required to refine the technology to further improve accuracy”. The process of encoding also needs improvement, says the ANA, to eliminate the need to separately encode commercials for national, local, and syndicated television.

Nielsen has proposed a follow-up testing phase that would trial new audio-detection technology. The ANA says advertiser and agency participation is necessary to ensure that all new commercials are audio encoded and that a system called Ad-ID is used as the commercial identifier.

ANA president Bob Liodice (pictured) said: “These tests are leaps in the right direction for our industry, and validate all of our work in the area of brand-specific commercial ratings. Having a valued partner like Nielsen predict that we can achieve almost 100% detection should make all participants in this study proud, and encourage others to volunteer to help as well. Participants are good corporate citizens, helping chart a course for our industry.”