comScore VP Hunter Reviews AdXpose Acquisition Details

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comScore Buys AdXposeYesterday, media measurement firm comScore acquired ad verification firm AdXpose (formerly mPire) for $22 million. Read more.

Anne Hunter, VP, Ad Effectiveness at comScore, discussed the acquisition and its implications.

AdExchanger.com: This is a relatively small acquisition in terms of dollars.  Why not build out versus buy AdXpose?

AH: The products available via comScore AdEffx and AdXpose are highly complementary, and after careful review of our options – both internally and externally – we came to the conclusion that this acquisition would best position us to achieve our strategic objective of becoming the industry’s most trusted source for advertising measurement and effectiveness solutions. With AdXpose's strong technology, client-friendly product features and global capabilities, it became clear that this particular company was the absolute best fit.

Will ad verification become a feature of comScore's own ad effectiveness products?  Or a standalone offering?

The validation solutions that AdXpose brings to comScore fit very nicely with our existing AdEffx Campaign Essentials product, allowing us to offer a truly comprehensive, end-to-end validation solution. Ultimately, we will deliver a single offering from which clients can select varying levels of campaign validation measurement, including but not limited to, geographic verification, brand safety, viewability, engagement, audience demographics and even new developments for in-flight campaign measurement.

Recently, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) collaborated on standards to better report advertising exposure as part of their Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative. One of the core standards they suggested was to report on viewable impressions in campaign delivery and effectiveness, which would bolster confidence that ads being delivered online were properly seen.

With the acquisition of AdXpose, comScore will be able to provide a validated GRP metric which meets the industry needs for a viewable impression-based audience currency that is comparable to other mediums.  Gross or un-validated GRP metrics are insufficient.

What will happen to the AdXpose team including CEO Kirby Winfield?

We are thrilled to have the AdXpose team join comScore.  The quality of the talent at AdXpose was a key reason we were so attracted to the company. The entire AdXpose team, including and especially Kirby, will be joining comScore.

Given the intense competition among several players in the ad verification space, what was the key, determining factor that led comScore to acquire AdXpose?

The company’s technology provides all of the measures needed to truly validate that an ad is being delivered in its intended manner. With AdXpose, we can now ensure that ads are actually viewable, delivered in brand safe environments to the target geographies and are void of fraudulent activities, and we can also offer clients insight into engagement. This comprehensive suite of tools perfectly complements comScore’s ability to provide audience validation.

Will comScore acquire more companies? What might be areas of interest - attribution modeling companies, for example?

As a public company, comScore doesn’t comment on future acquisitions.

The correct attribution of advertising effectiveness based on the contribution of discrete publishers and creatives is of core importance to us. The focus on last click or last view attribution has hobbled online advertising’s ability to understand where to truly spend digital dollars. We recently launched the Smart Lift Attribution Model, part of our Brand Survey Lift product which measures brand impact through an attitudinal survey. This model enables the measurement of a campaign’s overall branding impact as well as the specific lift contribution by publisher and by creative. Being able to accurately decompose the branding effects of digital advertising provides a much-needed solution for the digital advertising industry seeking granular, actionable insight into the individual effects of specific publishers and/or creative.

By John Ebbert

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