The Media Rating Council and the China Media Assessment Council, an independent working unit within the China Advertising Association, announced a summary of their continuing agenda to validate and improve digital audience measurement in China. After the completion of a series of meetings in 2018 to review audit findings of the digital audience measurement products of Miaozhen, AdMaster and Nielsen, and in-depth discussions of aspects of the China digital marketplace, the Associations established a set of priorities and action plans for 2019.
Key priorities aligned among CMAC, CAA and MRC are as follows:
- Complete the assessment processes over digital audience measurement services of Miaozhen and Nielsen (AdMaster’s TrackMaster service was withdrawn from the MRC accreditation process in 2018)
- Promote the development of Industry tools for invalid traffic and fraud filtration such as include and exclude lists, data center threat lists as well as threshold guidance
- Audit and accredit invalid traffic and fraud filtration vendors, concentrating on mobile and in-application environments
- Seek vendors with quality techniques for measurement of other important metrics such as ad impressions, location and ad performance, ad validation and brand safety, and accordingly, seek to validate these vendors
- Validate and facilitate adoption of more standardized measurement techniques such as an open standard SDK, working with other associations
- Conduct regular meetings for the purpose of educating the Industry on measurement, quality and transparency topics
- Working with a joint task force of CMAC and MRC members, move forward new standards for China such as cross-media measurement, and media value metrics. The China standards work stream will be supervised by CAA and the standards will be released under the auspices of CAA/CMAC, after completion of all necessary processes such as public commentary, and these efforts will be supported by MRC and used as further audits evolve in China.
The Associations collectively recognize the importance of building a healthy and sustainable digital advertising environment and have been focused on setting appropriate governance structures to do so; these priorities have been established to further facilitate this process.
The governance vision of the Associations has been to administer audits, seek standards compliance and accreditation of products that measure audiences to digital advertising, which is why Miaozhen, AdMaster and Nielsen were initially chosen to move through audits. These audits were completed, with good cooperation from the services, and Miaozhen and Nielsen are now addressing findings and working with the Associations to be fully compliant with industry standards. During 2019, audits have been expanded into invalid traffic and fraud filtration vendors, and eventually auditing in China will be further expanded to other measurement metrics such as ad impressions, search, location-based metrics and ad performance metrics.
The overall goal is to transition the responsibility for China measurement governance on a gradual basis from a joint MRC/CMAC function to autonomous CMAC processes, including administering compliance examinations using media-measurement experienced CPAs locally in China. As the priorities specified above move forward, CMAC will assume increasing leadership.
The MRC and CMAC and its members will be coming together in Shanghai, China in April to review audit progress to date, hold education sessions and discuss critical industry issues and priorities.