Launch of European Viewability Certification Framework

Brussels, 10th August 2017 – The European Viewability Steering Group (EVSG), a cross-industry body originally formed towards the end of 2015 by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe (IAB Europe), the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA) and the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), today announces the launch of a comprehensive European Viewability Certification Framework.

This includes the publication of the first set of European Viewability Measurement Principles and will soon be followed by the launch of a Request for Proposals (RFP) process to identify suitable auditors across the region.

The Measurement Principles have been created to help reduce discrepancies in the data provided by different viewability measurement tools. Extensive consultation has been conducted with a broad range of industry stakeholder groups including – publishers, media agencies, advertisers, measurement companies, ad technology providers, national, international and cross-industry trade bodies. Notable contributions have been provided by the MRC in the US; JICWEBS in the UK; BVDW, AGOF and OWM in Germany; Digital Ad Trust in France; and key national trade bodies across Europe.

The RFP process will be launched before the end of August and will seek to identify and appoint one or more auditors. Interested companies should contact IAB Europe or EACA (see page 4). The Measurement Principles will be used as the basis for evaluating the performance of the technical approach undertaken by the viewability measurement companies. An evaluation report will be produced to help inform the potential issuing of a European Seal of Accreditation. The Seal will be recognised by all participating European markets and will remove the need for further market-by-market accreditation.

The EVSG is responsible for shaping the overall strategic direction of the initiative, ensuring it remains relevant and valuable to all stakeholders across Europe. To formalise the involvement of several national markets with developed viewability initiatives, the EVSG is now being enlarged to include nominated market representatives (see page 3).

The ongoing management and implementation of the Certification Framework and awarding of the Seals will be undertaken by a related body called the European Authority (EA) – resourced by representatives from EACA and IAB Europe. The EA will work in conjunction with the appointed national bodies to ensure the certification framework is implemented effectively in each market.

The Certification Framework has been designed to offer a consistent solution across all European markets – irrespective of the existing status quo. In the interests of contributing towards the development of consistent, global standards, the EVSG envisages that the European approach will provide useful guidance for other regions or markets seeking to develop similar solutions.

Quotes from EVSG Founding Member organisations

Alison Fennah, Executive Business Advisor, IAB Europe said: “With digital ad spend surpassing €40bn1 it’s ever more critical to reinforce the quality of the digital advertising environment to underpin the delivery of free content. Ensuring that viewable impressions are measured correctly and consistently is a key first step.  This initiative is designed to enable Europe’s varied markets to collaborate and create regional standards and deliver local growth.”

Jon Chase, Chair Media Agencies Council, EACA noted: EACA are committed to helping shape and implement the drive towards improved viewability measurement standards across Europe and beyond. The ultimate objective being to establish a fully viewable digital ad environment. Whilst other challenges in the digital advertising ecosystem also require increased focus, reducing data discrepancies between the different viewability tools is a crucial step towards enhanced accountability and trust in digital media metrics.” 

Rob Dreblow, Global Head of Marketing Services, WFA said: “Whilst advertisers investing online often work with their own definitions of a viewable impression, it is critical to have a baseline of quality in terms of how to measure a genuine opportunity to see. Building on the excellent work in the US and UK, we hope this initiative will serve to help markets around the world reduce discrepancies and improve the quality of viewability measurement as this project develops into global guidance.”

Quotes from EVSG National Market Member organisations

Germany:

Thomas Duhr, Vice President, BVDW (rep. IAB Germany) said: “BVDW is pleased to be participating in a European initiative offers the German market a powerful solution for Viewable Impression measurement discrepancies. BVDW, AGOF and OWM have collaborated to develop a ‘blueprint’ structure to administer the European Certification Framework through active co-operation between the European and national authorities.” 

UK:

Richard Foan, Chairman, JICWEBS commented: “We are pleased to support and participate in the European Viewability Initiative to drive greater consistency in viewability measurement across the region. Having initiated the UK certification system for viewability tool vendors in early 2014 and working towards building global standards for local markets, JICWEBS will continue to be involved in the evolution of the European Principles and European Viewability Certification Framework.”

1 IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark Report 2016 – http://bit.ly/2vz0Pbi

France:

Sophie Poncin, President, SRI, representing Digital Ad Trust said: “Viewability is such an important KPI for our industry, it is time to implement European guidance on its measurement. We are proud to support this initiative in France with the Digital Ad Trust Committee.”

Italy:

Assocom, IAB Italy and UPA commented: “The Italian market is looking forward to being involved in the European Viewability Certification Framework to address one of the industry’s biggest challenges. This European initiative complements our recently published ‘White Paper of Digital Advertising’ which has been developed as an open, collaborative and cross-industry initiative. This aims to communicate and support a dialogue around hot topics and associated solutions as part of a dynamic digital culture.”

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