Ads Up: GroupM Buys MRI AdMeasure

After a slow start following its launch in June, Mediamark Research & Intelligence's new AdMeasure service is getting more traction with media agencies, buoyed by the news that GroupM has signed up for the ad ratings. The deal will bring MRI AdMeasure data to Maxus, MediaCom, Mediaedge:cia, and Mindshare, which together constitute GroupM.

MRI is banking on more agencies signing up as the new service develops critical mass. MRI president and CEO Kathi Love stated: "GroupM is to be congratulated for stepping up to the plate to more accurately demonstrate the return-on-investment print can offer marketers."

In developing AdMeasure, MRI aimed to advance from measurement based on the simple opportunity to see an ad to actual exposure and impact. The service provides media buyers and planners with data describing recall, the influence on the consumer's perception of the brand, and actions taken subsequent to seeing the ad.

It combines this with audience data for the same issues to determine the ad's impact over time. In 2010, MRI plans to offer AdMeasure ratings for every national ad in every issue of all 200 consumer magazines tracked by the research firm.

The service was formed by the integration of MRI's new issue-specific readership data with ad-effectiveness data from GfK Starch, which MRI acquired earlier this year. This was widely regarded as a response to pressure from publishers, advertisers and media agencies for more exact measurement of magazine advertising, making it more competitive with online advertising.

Industry pressure tactics included a formal call for proposals for a new magazine metric from the Magazine Publishers of America, which appeared to go dormant after the MRI tie-up with GfK Starch.

Ironically, while MRI moved relatively quickly (by media industry standards) to address the concerns of media agencies, they have been slow to sign up for the new service. Prior to GroupM, only Starcom USA and Time Inc. had signed a deal for the ratings, prompting some concern that MRI might not be able to sustain the more expensive, research-intensive service.

However, the ambitious plans for 2010 seem to indicate that the company has no plans to slow or scale back the rollout, at least in the near term.

Separately, MediaBank, which provides integrated procurement technology and analytics software for ad agencies, chose O|X Suite as its procurement platform for Atlanta-based 22squared, an independent ad agency. The O|X Suite incorporates work flows for client spending authorization, campaign planning, RFPs, etc., and is used to improve transaction efficiencies.

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