Dueling Brain Standards Leaves Ad Researchers Scratching Their Heads

A surprising behind-the-scenes drama unfolded on stage late Tuesday during a much-anticipated session of the Advertising Research Foundation's (ARF) annual Re:Think conference in New York. The session, which unveiled the initial findings of Madison Avenue's first-ever attempt to standardize so-called neuromarketing measurement methods (see related story in today's edition), revealed a controversial rift with the industry's leading supplier, Nielsen-backed NeuroFocus, which apparently went rogue, declined to participate in the industry's initiative, and issued its own competing set of "standards."

During the session's opening remarks, one of the ARF-led initiative's organizers, Disney Media & Advertising Lab's Duane Varan, cautioned attendees not to be confused by the "two different standards" that were "floating around," adding, "The ARF neuro standards initiative I different than NeuroFocus' neuro standards initiative."

That disclosure most likely contributed to a condition brain experts might describe as "cognitive dissonance," a psychological term describing the state of unease that occurs when our brains are confronted with two conflicting ideas.

MediaDailyNews was unable to obtain a copy of NeuroFocus' standards at presstime, but the ARF task force presented the findings of its first phase of work on stage Tuesday, released a summary report at the conference, and said an in-depth "white paper," a future forum, and new waves of research would follow.

The dueling standards development was the second bit of drama generated by NeuroFocus during the ARF conference. On Monday, it revealed what it described as a breakthrough technology in biometric measurement, a lightweight, portable, Bluetooth enabled, brainwave measurement headset named the Mynd. The headset, which NeuroFocus founder and CEO Dr. A.K. Pradeep, described as "medical grade," utilizes a "dry electrode" technology that he said was capable of reading the "full spectrum" of electrical signals emitted by the brain.

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1 comment about "Dueling Brain Standards Leaves Ad Researchers Scratching Their Heads".
  1. John Maher , March 23, 2011 at 6:49 p.m.

    What a surprise! A "Nielsen-backed" entity decides to do its own thing, so to speak. When is the media business going to figure out that f'ing Nielsen does not have our best interests at heart. They have always done what is best for Nielsen first.