ComScore's programmatic trust metric heads to Australia

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 28 April 2015

ComScore has announced the first stage of the global roll-out of the comScore Industry Trust Initiative, which it says aims to bring an independent measure of quality to the programmatic trading world.

While first introduced in the US in January 2015, it is now set to roll out globally - meaning media sellers around the globe now have the ability to showcase the “true quality” of their advertising inventory available for sale in programmatic environments through the use of new trusted, independent metrics.

This means comScore publisher clients have access to their Trust Profiles – a collection of comScore key advertising metrics – which give each client insight as to how their inventory will soon be represented in programmatic trading platforms.

VP product and operations Europe at Rocket Fuel, David Nelson, said: “As programmatic marketing continues its explosive growth and gains adoption by both advertisers and publishers, the importance of having third-party systems that are able to verify the quality of an ad impression cannot be understated.”

The Trust Profiles include key advertising metrics such as audience and category ranking data, viewability ratings and non-human traffic (NHT) ratings, all of which are consistent with the metrics available in comScore MMX and validated Campaign Essentials (VCE) that advertisers and publishers use for traditional ad buys.

Trust Profiles are now available with MMX metrics in 44 markets, with additional in-depth VCE metrics available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.

Improving campaign conditions

Jessica White, general manager, Cadreon Australia, said that this is a “huge positive step for the industry”.

She said there is a need for better standards in how suppliers are classifying audiences and inventory and any lack of clarity makes it challenging for buyers from an ad verification point of view.

“Applying comScore’s universal view of audiences and inventory validation through their existing measurement system has the opportunity to unlock a language that can be understood by both buyer and seller,” White said.

“As buyers we can have more confidence in the supply we are targeting and make more informed optimisation decisions quickly, identifying quality supply sources to better drive campaign performance within relevant and brand safe environments.”

She said Cadreon already utilises comScore as an additional verification layer across the multiple buying platforms and suppliers it uses, and that currently there is a “human layer of intelligence” it applies to interpret insights from comScore into optimisation action to improve campaign conditions and performance.

“Application of the same methodology for measurement into targetable supply enhances our ability to translate these insights more efficiently and with greater success,” she added.

Inventory quality

Ian Curd, Lotame commercial director, ANZ, agreed with White and said it's a great development in comScore's capabilities, and it addresses the key area of inventory quality.

“ComScore is a trusted partner of Lotame's and we see this as a big step forward for the digital advertising industry,” Curd said.

Mitch Waters, MD of AOL Platforms ANZ (formerly, said he applauds comScore for launching the Industry Trust initiative in Australia. He stressed that as an industry we have to “stay on the front foot” to protect clients against any bad actors in the ecosystem.

“This news isn't just a positive for programmatic, I think the whole digital industry will benefit from this initiative. This launch provides another bow in our quiver to increase transparency,” Waters said

Waters said he believes there is a need to use a number of companies due to the complexities and difference's in methodology that still exist in identifying subjects of fraud, viewability and safety.

“I am interested to see what the comScore data uncovers and any discrepancies compared to current providers that are in market,” he added.

Carolyn Bollaci, vice president, global accounts (APAC) at Sizmek, said there is now increased attention by brand marketers regarding the programmatic digital advertising inventory that they are targeting, as CMO's want “better bang for their buck”.

“As programmatic trading increases in scale, we expect to see the independent measurement firms such as comScore to provide deeper verification and transparency around the digital ad buy,” she said.

“Brands should also ensure their ad tech partner provides them with robust audience verification and anti-fraud detection tools to ensure they minimise wastage." 

Fighting for quality inventory

Trust Profiles, which has integration partners such as Adform, DataXu, Eyereturn Marketing, MediaMath, Turn, The Trade Desk and Rubicon Project, will also be available in select DSPs in key international markets later in 2015.

Commercial Director - AU/NZ at The Trade Desk, Doireann Ó Brádaigh, also said as a tech platform, it is committed to giving its clients access to leaders in the space, including comScore’s capabilities around their Trust Initiative.

“We all have to come together to fight for quality inventory and good standards, and we’re proud to see comScore engage sellers around building continued trust with buyers,” she said.

Additional partners will be announced throughout the year.

VP corporate and business development at DataXu, David Shapiro, said giving clients complete visibility into the data they’re using to make advertising decisions, and total control to manage those sources appropriately is vital and that the new comScore offering will provide a welcomed layer of independent validation, giving clients and the broader industry greater confidence in the impressions that are being bought and sold programmatically.

“The growth of programmatic around the world no longer needs to be accompanied by a concern about the quality of inventory that’s being bought and sold,” said Serge Matta, CEO of comScore.

“Expanding comScore Industry Trust – and specifically Trust Profiles – globally to media sellers is another step forward in elevating high quality inventory and ensuring that sellers receive fair value for those impressions. comScore Industry Trust ultimately offers a proactive way to create a trusted marketplace that better serves the needs of both buyers and sellers.” 

What do you make of his new benchmark? Comment below and share your views.

Interested in programmatic? Check out the industry's blue sky thinking with 14 programmatic predictions, Programmatic myths - the industry speaks out or Programmatic TV – a race to the top here


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