Home Measurement The JIC And The MRC Clarify Their Purpose And How They’re Different

The JIC And The MRC Clarify Their Purpose And How They’re Different


The TV currency space was contentious enough before the broadcaster-backed joint industry committee (JIC) formed last year to help set cross-platform video measurement standards.

But isn’t that what the Media Rating Council (MRC) is for?

As the competition intensifies, buyers and sellers are debating whether it’s valuable to have two bodies that appear to meet the same need – or whether it’s just plain confusing.

So, on Wednesday, the MRC and JIC released a joint statement to clarify the difference between them, which has been “a charged topic” over the past few months, Brittany Slattery, CMO of OpenAP, the data activation platform behind the JIC, told AdExchanger.

For example, there’s the misconception that the JIC and MRC are competitors, which is not the case, Slattery said. Their common goal is to help standardize measurement, not to take sides in the currency competition.

“We’re not here to tell buyers and sellers which currencies to use,” Slattery said. “We’re just here to provide transparency and guidance.”

Accreditation vs. certification

It’s especially critical for the two orgs to set the record straight before upfront negotiations begin in May.

First and foremost, both groups agree that MRC accreditation is a far more rigorous process than JIC certification.

“The MRC goes much further in conducting intensive audits of measurement methodology,” according to the joint statement, the purpose of which is to make sure measurement companies do what they say they do.

The downside is that MRC accreditation literally takes years. Just look at Comscore. It took three years before the company finally secured its accreditation for national and local ratings just last week.


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But a whole lot can change in three years, and “buyers and sellers can’t wait” for MRC accreditation before experimenting with currency alternatives to Nielsen, Slattery said.

That is where the JIC comes in. It’s working with buyers and sellers to create “a baseline consensus” as to what a currency needs before both sides will agree to transact on it, Slattery said.

Still, JIC certification is an involved process.

In September, the JIC awarded conditional certification to Comscore, VideoAmp and iSpot for transparency into census-level data. To get conditional certification, companies had to prove they had a privacy and data governance strategy, big data sets (as opposed to just panels), transparency into match rates and integrations with clean rooms and programmatic platforms.

The next step, which is ongoing, is deciding which currencies deserve full certification. This involves a deeper dive into each currency contender’s data sets, such as checking them for errors and determining whether they’re stable enough to create campaign forecasts, Slattery said.

Currencies with full certification will get access to the streaming data product the JIC is building, which will include first-party data from publishers and agencies participating in the committee.

Rumor had it

The JIC also used the joint statement as an opportunity to clarify its stance on MRC accreditation.

In April, Nielsen accused the JIC of essentially bypassing the MRC by merely suggesting that currencies seek MRC accreditation rather than requiring it as part of its certification process.

As a result, Nielsen refused to join the JIC (its stance remains unchanged), and some JIC members suggested that Nielsen was “weaponizing the MRC” as leverage against its alternative currency competitors.

Wednesday’s statement is an attempt to clear the air.

“The JIC’s goal is for measurement companies to hold both JIC certification as well as MRC accreditation,” it reads. And if a currency provider hasn’t yet been accredited by the MRC, the JIC requires it to at least be “in active audit with the MRC” in order to be eligible for JIC certification.

And that’s that on that.

State of the union

At this point, you may be wondering about the accreditation and certification status of the top currency companies. Here’s the latest:

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