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The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) is getting tough and demanding transparency from online advertising providers. And since the ANA represents the biggest spenders on advertising that there are, it should get the attention of the digital ad companies. Even the title of the ANA whitepaper makes the issue clear: “The Critical Need for Accredited Third-Party Measurement for Viewability of Digital Advertising.”

“The key issue this addresses is the fact that some large digital media owners do not allow third-party measurement vendors to report viewable ad impressions to their clients,” says ANA Group EVP Bill Duggan in laying out the advertisers’ concerns. “Instead, they rely on internally derived metrics that have not been independently verified. This means marketers must trust the viewability metrics provided by those digital media owners, without any independent verification (i.e., from the Media Rating Council), to determine if their ads performed as contracted.”

An ANA member survey found that an overwhelming 97% of marketers believe that the larger digital media owners should allow their inventory to be measured by a third party. If a digital media owner does not provide third-party measurement, 61% of respondents would shift their spending elsewhere.

ANA members are familiar with Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation in their dealing with other media—and they want it for digital as well. 65% of respondents very strongly feel that a digital media owner should have its internally derived metrics accredited by the MRC. The vast majority of respondents—90%—said they are not fully confident that their working media dollars in digital platforms are being served in a manner that meets industry viewability standards.

As a result, ANA has issued some major calls to action. First off, ANA says all digital media owners should allow their inventory to be measured for viewability by a third party. Marketers and their agencies, then, should only use third-party ad measurement vendors that have been accredited by the Media Rating Council for current industry-agreed viewability standards.

ANA says it strongly encourages marketers to demand greater transparency and accountability for their digital media investments, support accredited third-party verification, and ensure that includes the measurement of viewable impressions. The ANA, as our readers know, has been working with the 4A’s, representing ad agencies, and IAB, representing digital ad vendors, to gather data for MRC standard-setting in various types of digital advertising.