Big Brands, Agencies Join NBCU Measurement Innovation Forum


NBCUniversal has released a list of brands, agencies and trade associations that have agreed to participate in its Measurement Innovation Forum.

The initiative aims to examine current media and advertising measurement methods and develop alternatives to the dominant Nielsen offerings.

Advertiser partners include Citicorp, Ford, L’Oreal, Pfizer, Rocket Mortgage, Target, Volkswagen and Wayfair.

Agencies include 360i, Active International, Canvas Worldwide, Dentsu, Edelman, GroupM, Havas, Horizon Media, Magna, OMD, Publicis, RPA, Wieden+Kennedy and Giant Spoon.

Trade groups include the Ad Council, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), The Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), OpenAP, TVB (formerly Television Bureau of Advertising), TV network trade group VAB (formerly Video Advertising Bureau), the Hispanic Marketing Council and the Media Rating Council (MRC).

Measurement companies are not included as partners, but NBCU in August sent out a request for proposal (RFP) related to the initiative to its measurement partners.

Given that its specialized auditor role requires independence, the MRC will participate solely as an observer, according to the announcement.

Otherwise, “Each partner will have a seat at the table to investigate, share and receive feedback at scale on new measurement yardsticks to help build new measurement blueprint for advertising’s future,” stated Kelly Abcarian, executive vice president of measurement and impact for advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal.

“Judging from the 80 responses NBCU has received to our measurement [request for proposal], it’s clear there are companies with cutting-edge capabilities that deserve our industry’s consideration,” she added.

NBCU, which is also a member of VAB’s Measurement Innovation Task Force, says its own forum is meant to supplement cross-platform measurement work by VAB, ANA and OpenAP.

NBCU “has no interest in building another walled garden or monolithic measurement system,” duplicating efforts or replacing existing initiatives, stated Abcarian. “By bringing more chairs to the table and sharing information widely and transparently with all our partners, we hope to help build a better measurement future for everyone.”

NBCU sent out its RFP and said it was declaring “measurement independence” days after Nielsen asked the Media Rating Council for a “hiatus” on the accreditation of its national TV service so it can continue to address concerns of its 40,000 U.S. household panel, as well as working on Nielsen One.

The MRC subsequently suspended accreditation of Nielsen’s national and local TV ratings services.

Nielsen has been working on a cross-platform currency called Nielsen One, expected to launch by fourth-quarter 2022.

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