Following all the hubbub over online ratings, log files, metrics firms, discrepancies and other good online measurement mania, comScore CEO Magid Abraham drafted a letter in respons to the hubbub which we'll reprint here:
An Open Letter to the Industry
A recent article in Media Week and Ad Week discusses a recurring theme in the online industry, asserting that panel-based audience metrics are inaccurate because they do not match Web server logs. Since Web logs record a site's every visit, visitor and page request, it makes intuitive sense that those metrics might be viewed as the gold standard. When third party estimates do not match Web logs, it is easy to view this as a reflection of weaknesses in panel-based measurement.
However, as always, the devil is in the details. When you scrutinize the details, the answer to the question about why Web log and panel-based data don't always match up is ... "it depends." In fact, the reasons for discrepancies depend on a number of factors: the panel data could be wrong, the Web log data could be wrong - or more often - they are both right given the exact definition of what they measure. But, those definitions could be vastly different.
With this new patented invention from Colin Davies, the marketers vs. DVR ad skippers war continues to heat up. Davies' system allows for full frame, still images to be placed on screen while a person is fast forwarding through ads. This is almost kind of funny. It's so amusing to see what each side of this battle comes up with to usurp the other side's efforts. TiVo already does something similar to this during its fast forward process. Although we don't mind watching a still ad while fast forwarding, sometimes we actually do want to see what we're fast forwarding past so we hope this system allows for some method of accomodating that.
- If you're interested in what other people make for a salary, here's
yet another place to find out.
- CBS is piloting several billboards that beam information about its prime-time lineup to Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices.
- Commercial Alert isn't happy with PBS's decision to solicit ads for its kid-focused websites. The group's director, Gary Ruskin says, "This is a betrayal of parents and children across the country. PBS has forgotten its mission, and is selling our children to the highest bidder. PBS President Paula Kerger should be fired immediately."
- Design Observer lauds design guru Helmut Krone.
- Here's an interesting map showing the global domination of the Starbucks and McDonald's brands.
- Japan has un-banned a nude/pregnant poster of Britney Spears from Tokyo's subway system. Officials originally thought it was "too stimulating" for young people.
- Oh please. Can we just stop with the slap a log on the baby's head thing?
- Fridge maker (and wine storage maker) Sub-Zero has launched a weblog which focuses on wine.
- A reader writes, "Just read on Candyaddict.com that Altoids is coming out with "chocolate dipped mints." Any truth to the rumor that they bagged Leo Burnett after that awful sour challenge campaign? That's the word..."
- Getty Images made licensing images easier (or so they say) with their new rights-ready licensing service.
- Nokia has a couple of new spots, created by Lowe Singapore, that do the whole individuality is cool, mind/body/spirit thing. (1, 2)
- In the "huh?" and "WTF" categories comes this weblog called Shoot My Blog which exists for no other reason that to solicit from people pipcture of the Shoot My Blog blog.
If you work in agency production, you likely hate the endless sales calls from vendors who waste your time selling you a service you don't want or need at the time. They are kind of the scum of the earth sometimes, right? Oh but wait. When you really, really need to get a quote for that super niche'y idea that freaky creative down the hall came up with, you want every vendor at your beck and call immediately regardless of whether you treated them all like shit yesterday.
A new service called AgencyVendors has just launched to make sure all those vendors are at your beck and call when all those whack job ideas require you to come up with a quote for the meeting that was set up without any regard for how long it would take you to create said quote. Unfortunately, the service is so new there are no actual vendors listed on the site yet so you might want to change your voice mail message to something like "Quit bugging me, freak. Go to AgencyVendors.com and make your pitch there. Don't call me. I'll call you."
In-game advertising company IGA Worldwide and Interpret LLC have announced an in-game ad ratings system using Interpret's Gameasure. Gameasure will provide advertisers such game title, demographics, reach, frequency, duration and deoth of engagement metrics for all of IGA's video games. Ideally, it will best what Nielsen is trying to do for television now and actually provide real ad viewership and interaction data.
MediaPost reports Clear Channel is testing a new outdoor technology, previously mentioned here in 2003, from Magink that will replace vinyl with molecular coated plastic tiles which will react to an electrical current to form an image making changing billboard copy changes a matter of pushing a few buttons in a remote office. The technology will allow for multiple ads to appear on a single board and, with the ability to change images 70 times per second, potentially allow for video. While the cost to install these boards is five times that of vinyl, it will allow advertisers more flexibility, make more money for Clear Channel and eliminates the need for paper, vinyl, printing and labor costs. All you production and vinyl people better find something else to do.
With video the online advertising meme du jour, ad network Bluelithium has launched AdRoll, a streaming video ad network with behavioral targeting capabilities. Much like Tacoda does with banners across its network of sites, AdRoll will allow advertisers to serve video ads, both pre-roll and in-banner, based on a person's navigation behavior across all the sites in the Bluelithium network, of which there are over 1,000 according to the company. The targeting capabilities will also include demographics and geography. If you've got video, it seems bluelithium has the right place to put it.
Seattle-based Worktank created the See Windows Vista site for Microsoft to illustrate how companies are using Vista to develop applications. The site is full of videos and is hosted by Tom Skerritt (where's he been lately?). It's pretty good. Does the job and seems to make good use of video.
Behavioral online ad network TACODA, will begin screening the content that appears adjacent to the ads served through its 3,500 site network for inappropriate content and then determine whether or not to serve an ad. It's being done through a partnership with content filtering firm ContentWatch which will flag questionable content for review and filtering. TACODA President and COO Curt Viebranz says the move is an effort to offer adverisers a "clean, we-lit environment." Now if only the contextual folks could keep the credit card sharks away from the real sharks. Actuially, one company can. Check out Mochila.