BPA Worldwide, a not-for-profit media auditor, has stepped up and indicated to Real-Time Daily that it is interested in providing data on ad-blocking services for advertisers.
After a post in Tuesday’s RTBlogthat called for an independent third party to gather data on, track and monitor ad blocking both in the U.S. and around the world, Real-Time Daily received a letter from BPA Worldwide Chairman Lawrence LaPorta signaling the organization’s interest.
“To answer the closing question in your April 25th article, BPA Worldwide is very interested to address the issue,” the letter stated. “Speaking as current chairman of BPAWW [BPA Worldwide], the issue of ad blocking has a far-ranging effect on the economics of the media industry. …BPAWW is well-suited to contribute to a solution for several reasons.”
LaPorta went on to list the reasons why BPA is a good fit:
1. It’s a tripartite body comprised of media owners, marketer companies and agencies representing the foundation of the media industry.
2. It’s a not-for-profit organization, which means there is no vested interest in the outcome of findings and recommendations.
3. It’s a global body with firmly established offices in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
4. It has the experience and technical expertise to tackle the problem.
LaPorta closed the letter, which Real-Time Daily received on Tuesday, by saying that GroupM’s call for industry-wide collaboration to address issues around ad blocking comes at a time “when thoughtful analysis and action can win the day. At BPAWW we are ready to answer that call.”
There are only a handful of truly independent parties that can gather data and monitor ad-blocking trends on a monthly basis — the MRC (Media Rating Council) and AAM (Alliance for Audited Media). However, the MRC was founded to keep an eye on Nielsen and its focus is on the broadcast industry. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), which has task forces and working groups addressing many issues including media transparency and ad blocking, usually does not involve itself in monitoring and measuring.
The fairly large-scale undertaking would need to be promoted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and perhaps the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As).
“Ad blocking has been on our radar screen for a long time,” said Peter Black, senior vice president, BPA Worldwide. “There’s no easy solution to it [ad blocking]. It strikes me that there are so many parties that benefit from high volumes of activity but it’s not always in their best interest to take a stand on these types of things.” But, Black added, “it’s about who’s supplying money to fuel the system and that’s the advertisers. They’re the ones that have to put their foot down and take a hard line… these are the people who are writing the checks.”
Black maintains that the money advertisers are able to save would more than offset the cost of monitoring ad blocking.
The goals of a monthly report on ad blocking would involve an estimate as to the volume of ads that are blocked each month and the dollar value of the ads blocked. Those two metrics are the basis. Cross-device/cross-screen, behavioral and geographic data would potentially be part of the mix.
BPA Worldwide is a media auditor and compliance organization. BPA was originally created more than 80 years ago by advertisers, advertising agencies and the media industry to audit audience claims used in the buying and selling of advertising.
In addition to auditing audience claims, through its iCompli service, BPA verifies compliance to defined government, industry and organizational standards as well as adherence to privacy, data protection and sustainability guidelines and best practices.
BPA performs nearly 3,800 audits in over 20 countries.