ComScore CEO ‘Disappointed’ With VCE Performance

ComScore had a rough go of it in 2016, with fierce competition from Nielsen and other media validation companies, culminating in its delisting from the Nasdaq this month.

But CEO Gian Fulgoni also expressed disappointment with the performance of comScore’s digital ad measurement tool, Validated Campaign Essentials (vCE), during a corporate update on Friday.

Though Fulgoni claimed vCE offers one of the strongest measurement offerings in a tough competitive landscape – and noted comScore’s ongoing partnership with Google – it was slower to develop a complete Facebook measurement offering.

“The digital advertising sector grew by almost 20% in 2016 with Google and Facebook accounting for [a large percentage] of that growth, so if you don’t have Facebook on two key pieces of vCE – viewability and audience – you really have a problem,” Fulgoni added.

ComScore, along with Integral Ad Science and Nielsen, received Facebook’s blessing to track ad viewability beginning last April – a status Moat secured seven months earlier. 

ComScore, like Nielsen, has since added on-target delivery metrics for Facebook audiences.

But ComScore acknowledges it didn’t market vCE “appropriately” last year – seemingly focusing more of its promotional efforts on multiplatform rankings for publishers than advertisers and agencies.

But the buy side is where most advertising spend comes from and where big marketers like P&G cry for more transparency in measurement and the media supply chain. (ComScore just expanded vCE to upgrade fraud protection and cross-platform reporting including the Facebook Partner Network.)

“We need to put a major effort behind showing the buy side of the industry our viewability and audience reporting is completely integrated,” Fulgoni said.

As for comScore’s looming compliance challenges, the company has invested in more than 20 consultants to complete the auditing process that’s underway.

It hopes to wrap the compliance process and relist either on the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange this summer.

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