- P&G’s Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard recently said his company is giving digital ad partners until year-end to receive Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation for standardized measurement or they will lose its business. Now, it's becoming apparent that many of those platforms might not make the deadline, per a report in Ad Age.
- Google is the only major digital platform that has actually started the auditing process necessary to get MRC accreditation although MRC CEO George Ivie said all have at least spoken privately about getting accredited.
- One issue, according to Ivie, is most social media platforms are now mobile-first and that is the hardest digital element to audit. This combined with the size and scope of the platforms will make it a challenge for them to meet the P&G deadline.
Google and Facebook together dominate the majority of digital ad spending, but if Facebook does not meet the P&G deadline and the marketer — the largest advertiser by spend in the world — takes its budget elsewhere, this could be a big blow to the social media giant. If Google is the only one to meet the deadline, it stands to benefit. However, if Facebook is making good faith steps towards accredidation it is possible P&G will extend the deadline.
Facebook has started the auditing process but not for the metric P&G is asking for in viewable impressions as defined by MRC, according to Ad Age. Instead Facebook is first auditing its served impression metrics and is waiting for that to be completed before auditing viewable impressions. Audits take about three months, and then the MRC has to determine if it will accredit based on the results or ask for additional fixes and new audits.
Google and the other major digital platforms, including Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter operate as walled gardens with proprietary data that is not shared widely. However, Pritchard's ultimatum — first broadcast to the industry at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in January — is a reflection of the growing frustration marketers feel about the lack of standardization in digital measurements, which is hampering their ability to effectively assess the impact of their efforts.
The marketing executive's comments have opened a dialog in the digital advertising industry that has seen support from other brands. The Ad Age report pointed out that Verizon’s Chief Media Officer John Nitti has also publicly stated it is making similar demands minus the hard deadline to keep Verizon’s digital ad business.