MRC To Lift Viewability Advisory In 2014, Back Its Use As A Digital Currency

As predicted by Undertone co-founder Eric Franchi yesterday, the Media Rating Council (MRC) has extended its "Viewable Impression Advisory" beyond 2013 -- and says it now expects to lift the advisory by the end of Q1, 2014.

The purpose of the advisory was to warn against using viewability as a currency until certain "obstacles" were removed -- namely standard definitions, unaccredited vendors and general education -- to make "widespread use of viewable impressions as a digital currency metric" easier.

The advisory was first issued in November 2012 before receiving an update in June 2013.

The rating council claims a viewability measurement standard is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. After that, the company says the next obstacle will be determining the duration requirement for a Web-based viewable video impression.

However, the advisory is not expected to be lifted until the end of Q1 2014, since the MRC wants time to educate the marketplace on the changes. To do so, the MRC also announced plans to launch a reconciliation project using MRC-accredited viewability vendors.

The reconciliation project is intended to educate the marketplace on the differences that should be accounted for between vendors. The company says this process might call for "certain marketplace adjustments" from viewability vendors and buyers and sellers alike -- hence, the MRC waiting to lift the advisory "until these can be sufficiently addressed."

This news should be welcomed by both buyers and sellers. Franchi explained to RTM Daily that "despite the MRC advising the industry not to transact on viewable impressions, it’s happening anyway. Some marketers and agencies are asking for viewability on their campaigns in various capacities, from being the goal/KPI of the campaign, to being the actual currency. Any media seller that is not measuring their inventory proactively is flying blind, so to speak."
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