NEWS27 July 2010

IAB Australia ‘to issue web ratings tender’ – report

Asia Pacific New business

AUSTRALIA— The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) is reportedly preparing a tender process to find an agency to supply a hybrid web audience measurement system to produce currency data for ad buying and selling.

The Australian newspaper reports that agencies will be invited to pitch within the next three weeks – despite the IAB having worked with Nielsen Online to develop a hybrid system, combing consumer panel data and server-side data, for the past year.

Quoting a ‘media industry source’, The Australian said: “In three weeks the tender will go out. The suspicion is that if the IAB didn’t get a tender out… other providers might be able to take legal action. It was almost certainly looking as if the standard currency was going to be developed with Nielsen.”

The report said that rival measurement firm ComScore had already released some hybrid data to Australian publishers while ViziSense – which is backed by Komli Media – plans to do the same.

News of a potential tender was not welcomed by the Audit Bureaux of Australia – which already provides an auditing system for web measurement. CEO Gordon Towell said: “If the research methods are audited, any number of companies could provide the audience figures and they’re all comparable – you don’t need to have one company doing it all.”

IAB chief executive Paul Fisher (pictured) refused to confirm or comment on the tender, while Nielsen’s regional boss for Asia Pacific, Megan Clarken, said she was not aware of any competition issues, according to The Australian.