OOH: Waiting On MRC Accreditation

The challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic drove rapid innovation and creativity, which led out-of-home media to become one of the fastest-growing channels, said Anna Bager, president and CEO of the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA).

“Creativity has enabled many new ways of anamorphic design such as the Las Vegas Sphere,” she said. “There are tons of very cool creative campaigns supporting this media.”

Technology has helped media develop and evolve in ways such as the ability to use data to update campaigns in real-time.

Bager believes this is on par with other media channels in terms of speed to market. And this one-to-many form of media does not have the same challenges as the deprecation of cookies and new privacy laws.

Consumers tend to see out-of-home more as a service rather than an interruption, she says.



Measurement is an area that is underdeveloped, she says, but the industry has made considerable progress. Within the coming months, she expects a Media Rating Council (MRC) standard to be released, which will lead to greater trust in the media.

Late last year, the MRC announced the release of a draft version of its OOH Measurement Standards for public review and comment.

The 30-day public comment period extends through December 18, 2024.

These standards aim to establish a detailed set of methods and common practices for companies that measure OOH media audiences and related metrics.

Bager acknowledges that OOH traditionally has been difficult to measure, but says that in the future it could develop standards, which would make measurement easier. This would be simple at first, she says -- setting a level of “currency” such as viewability, and in the case of OOH, the currency of “opportunity” or “likelihood” to see.

Accreditation has been in the works for about five years. This would put OOH on par with other media.

The industry has learned a lot about the combination of connected television (CTV) and search, but Bager called CTV and OOH the real “power couple.”

“When you serve a CTV impression, you know it was served in a geographic location, and probably that person will leave the house and go to the store or to work or to a restaurant,” she said. “You can now retarget that consumer with out of home or radio, which are both location-based media.”

Bager spent nine years at the Interactive Advertising Bureau. She founded the Mobile Center of Excellence in 2010, and then moved into video and other initiatives. OOH caught her eye as the idea of moving to the mobile screen to the big display outside became intriguing.

“I got fascinated by the media, because you’re not monetizing a media, you’re monetizing a location,” she said.

Then she started to see “the writing on the wall” with privacy and data regulations that digital advertising would face. OOH does not have those challenges.

4 comments about "OOH: Waiting On MRC Accreditation".
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  1. Barry Green from Barry Green & Associates, March 5, 2024 at 12:42 a.m.

    Sorry but MRC accreditation did nothing for any other industry except hurt smaller publishers who couldn't afford the hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their stamp of approval and many hundreds of hours of manpower to jump through their hoops.

    It never brought in 1 dollar of ad revenue to a publisher and just a money grab

    No agency or brand ever asked if we were MRC rated nor did they care. 

    Let's put that money  to work towards setting one standard for the industry of validating footfall traffic and attribution 

    not be advertiser out agency ever asked me in 24 years in digital advertising wheather we were MRC accredited 

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 5, 2024 at 8:33 a.m.

    Barry MRC does not accredit----or audit------media time or space sellers. It's not accrediting OOH plants or OOH digital ad venues. It does accredit---when asked to---research services which purport to measure the audiences of various media---the point being to establish whether these companies actually do what they are claiming to do and whether they follow accepted research practices. This kind of service was established long ago for print media by the Audit Bureau Of Circulations   ABC--- when it became clear that some publishers were lying about thei size of their print runs. The same concerns about radio and TV audienxces have caused tteh MRC to be created ---not as verification for the accuracy of the audience studies but to make sure that they are not biased in any way thatb might mislead media buyers.

  3. Tony Jarvis from Olympic Media Consultancy, March 5, 2024 at 2:05 p.m.

    As the Global OOH Research cognoscente are fully aware, the latest proposed draft MRC OOH Measurement Guidelines (they are NOT Standards!) are completely out of line with the  "Global OOH Measurement Guidelines" released by the World Out of Home Organization, May 2022.  These were based on updating and revising the original OOH Audience Measurement Guidelines developed by ESOMAR.
    GeoPath, whch provides the OOH medum its unique currency based on Eyes-On or visibility adjusted contacts, is the only real JIC operating in the US and generally follows the existing Global Gudelines along with other OOH JICs around the world.  
    The on-going and deliberate confusion and misinformation regarding the massive difference in relative value of content rendered counts (aka viewable imressions) solely from device based measurement versus people based Eyes-On or Ears-On measured viewing/hearing data (both important however) is long overdue to be fully addressed by MRC once and for all. 

  4. John Grono from GAP Research, March 5, 2024 at 9:44 p.m.

    Barry, conversely I think you will find that their role (I will not comment on any 'áccreditors' veracity) is to provide some measure of comfort for the advertiser and not for the publisher (or broadcaster etc.).

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