MRC Scraps Fully Loaded Requirement For Mobile Ads, Issues Updates On Viewability

Industry ratings watchdog the Media Rating Council today issued updates to its guidelines for mobile viewable impression measurement, including a requirement for an ad fully “loaded” to be counted for measurement.

The MRC issued its initial guidelines -- the Interim Guidance on Mobile Viewable Impression Measurement -- in May and said the updates are part of its efforts to move toward a set of final guidelines found here but include three significant developments:

  • Elimination of the "Loaded Ad" concept: The MRC has concluded that the "Loaded Ad" metric is no longer necessary for use as a measurement metric. Introduced within the Interim Guidance in May, this metric was designed as a temporary solution that recognized limitations in measurers' capabilities for determining viewable impressions in mobile application environments that existed at that time. Since May, it has become apparent that measurers can now, in fact, successfully measure viewable impressions in mobile within the in-application environment, meaning the "Loaded Ad" concept is now obsolete. No vendors to date have been accredited by the MRC for a "Loaded Ad" metric, and, effective today, the MRC will no longer consider accreditation of this metric.
  • Found additional evidence that "Count on Decision" approaches for served ad impression measurement (in which the count of an ad impression is executed at a relatively early stage of the ad delivery process) should be eliminated as a valid method for counting served impressions: MRC's review of mobile data has shown that mobile ads can take a considerable amount of time to render on users' devices. This reinforces earlier findings from MRC's work on viewability in desktop environments that showed ads take longer to render in today's more complex online environments than they did when the IAB Measurement Guidelines for served impressions -- which allowed for Count on Decision-based counting methods -- were written a decade ago. Therefore, as previously announced, the MRC will work with the IAB to eliminate Count on Decision as an acceptable method for counting served ad impressions in the near-term future.
  • Deepened cross-industry collaboration: The MRC has collaborated with a large working group of interested parties and organizations to obtain data in order to answer questions surrounding viewability requirements applied to mobile environments.
The MRC said it plans to present its most current conclusions to its mobile viewability working group and that final guidelines are expected to be released for public comment in the first quarter of 2016.
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