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Unilever: ‘Ad measurability is only getting worse’

Unilever has ramped up its calls for better online ad measurability and said that until better tools are brought in the industry will keep “running around in circles”.

The FMCG giant’s vice president of global media innovation and ventures Babs Rangaia slammed the current situation around the measurability of online advertising, and claimed that some of the newer metrics, such as the two-second video ad viewability standard, are “preposterous”.

“The way we are measuring video as an industry as it stands is two second per view… I mean the metrics are only getting worse as far as I can tell… how we’re measuring video ads, or banner ads, or any other ads, some of the stuff out there seems preposterous and on top of that we’ve got these ad blockers coming in,” he said on stage at Dmexco today (16 September).

“There is so much happening that is acting as a barrier to us getting to the promise of the Internet and what it can bring and until it can go through that with logical ways to do business we are going to keep running around in circles.”

Her comments echo those made by WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell earlier today at the same conference, where he said that "Facebook has a lot of work to do in terms of video and video viewability". Unilever has been one of the most vocal complainants in ad land over what is widely accepted as poorer quality tracking tools for digital media in comparison to those used for the likes linear TV and print. So much so that the FMCG giant has partnered with WPP's Group M to plan and buy online media using tougher standards than those set by the industry.

Rangaia also dished out advice on how companies can ape Unilever’s approach to accomplish innovation at a global scale. He said that regardless of the business, be it a brand or a technology platform as long as it is made for mobile, is visual, social and personalised and leveraging data, with “content at the front and new commerce levels at the end” it can be a success.

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