Digital Media Measurement Watchdog to Audit Google
In the midst of the digital media viewing measurements controversy, Google agreed to let the Media Rating Council (MRC) audit data for YouTube’s ads. MRC was virtually unknown in the media world a few years ago, but is now auditing for major players, including Facebook.
For years advertisers have been charged for fraudulent views not actually seen by consumers, and therefore advertisers have been pushing for more transparency. MRC was founded for the purpose of setting regulations for how media consumption is tracked. Its goal is to secure the media industry and related users audience measurement services that are valid, reliable and effective.
Companies like Google and Facebook have come under fire for their internal auditing practices, which is why Google agreed to be audited by MRC. Bob Liodice, Chief Executive of the Association of National Advertisers, a trade group for marketers, concurred that Google’s audit commitments is a turning point for the company.
“Why would you want to be called a walled garden?” Liodice said. “That’s a horrible reputation to have. You want to be seen as open. If you look like you have something to hide, that’s not a good place to be.”
MRC will audit three independent metric companies that collect data on the viewability of YouTube’s ads. The audits will evaluate the technology used, as well as how it is integrated into YouTube’s site. Due to YouTube’s scale, the audit will be conducted over a period of two quarters. Once complete, advertisers will be able to hold much more faith in what they are being charged for their ads.