NEWS3 August 2012

ARSGroup sale likely as ComScore sees digital pre-tests fall flat

Data analytics Financials North America

US— ComScore is planning to sell some or all of the ARSGroup copy-testing business it acquired two years ago after failing to convince advertisers to buy into the idea of pre-testing their digital creative.

In a conference call today ComScore CEO Magid Abraham spoke of “entrenched resistence” to the concept, with digital advertisiers favouring in-flight optimisation.

And though big advertisers like Procter & Gamble continue to pre-test their TV executions, Abraham said ComScore was seeing increased demands to carry out offline pre-tests in markets where internet penetration is low – capabilities the company does not have and has no intention of building.

With copy-testing revenues falling steeply and knocking five percentage points off the company’s total second-quarter revenue growth rate, Abraham said it is “no longer a strategic fit and we expect to divest the business”.

Q2 revenue was $60.3m, up 4% year-on-year. Excluding the copy-testing business, non-GAAP pro forma revenues would have shown a 9% increase.

“These factors mask the strength in new contract signings we are experiencing in our comprehensive portfolio of digital business analytics solutions,” said Abraham, pointing to an “accelerating adoption of our digital campaign measurement solutions”.

Meanwhile ComScore’s Validated Campaign Essentials service, which measures whether internet users have a chance to see the digital ads that are served to their computers, recently achieved accreditation from the Media Rating Council.

Net loss for the quarter was $6.6m, an improvement on the $8.2m loss reported a year ago.

  • Adexchanger reports that ComScore has recently sued three analytics companies – DoubleVerify, AdSafe Media and Moat – for patent infringement. Cited in the complaints are some of the patents ComScore acquired rights to in settling its own patent dispute with rival Nielsen.