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GroupM sounds warning on audience measurement

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GroupM, the world’s largest media buyer, has warned that the media industry must do more to measure total audiences as they fragment across different screens and platforms.

Simon Thomas, global director, audiences research, for GroupM/MEC, said that advertisers were growing “paranoid” about the levels of disruption and fragmentation and their impact on reach.

Speaking at the the Connected TV World Summit, hosted by Mediatel Events two weeks ago, Thomas said: “The disruption, it’s scary; devices, platforms, commercial propositions are all changing. Unfortunately though, as we fragment, reach goes down and advertisers are paranoid.

“If you’re an FMCG brand it’s about mass reach, simultaneous reach. We’ve got to manage to put all this disruption and fragmentation together to provide the right campaign schedules for them to use.”

Thomas added that although TV remains the biggest screen in terms of sound and motion with peak consumer engagement, all screens now contribute to the advertising mix.

“Live and catch-up, live and video on-demand, engaged or snacking, they’re all part of the communication strategy,” he said. “But we’ve got to measure total audiences. That is what those advertisers putting in billions of dollars, pounds and euros require.”

Thomas also said the industry must find a solution to end the silos in the media and tech markets.

“One of the biggest disappointments of my professional career is that the media space has not moved out of its silos,” he said. “It is one of the biggest handicaps the industry currently faces and it appears on every agenda of every client meeting.

“They cannot understand how our industry, in terms of monetising inventory, do not give them a united 360 degree proposition.

“We must get these measurement issues sorted once and for all. At the moment it’s a mess.”

This story was originally published by our sister publication, Mediatel Newsline.

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