The Out of Home Advertising Association of America is the Measurement Menace of the Month

The Out of Home Advertising Association of America’s new guidelines for measurement take the terrible metric of impressions (aka “Opportunity to See” or OTS) and make it worse. While the Media Rating Council and Advertising Research Foundation have been striving to make audience measurement more accurate, the OAAA has decided to move in the opposite direction and make it less accurate, albeit easier to inflate audience viewing numbers.

The Out of Home Advertising Association is taking us back to less accurate metrics

Recently, the Media Ratings Council and other standards-setting bodies adopted “likelihood to see” (LTS) as the preferred standard advertising metric. They chose it over “Opportunity to See” (OTS) because LTS takes into account variables like time of day, likely behavior of the audience, and other real-time dynamics that impact the chances of an actual human being seeing the ad. OTS uses just the estimated and frequently inflated counts of total possible eyeballs over time. Which often includes eyeballs that may not be human, may not be able to see, and may not be paying attention.

The OAAA, in their dubious wisdom, have decided that the antiquated OTS metric is sufficient. And that a better, more accurate metric isn’t necessary or required.

Judging from the comments appended to the announcement, the decision will not enhance the reputation of either the OAAA or the actual metrics. Annoyed commenters called it “a farce,” “tragic,” and wondered if the crafters of the announcement were “drunk.”

The problems with OTS

In reality, any calculation of OTS these days needs to be discounted by at least 50%. That’s because of all the distractions available to the user and the number of troll farms and spam bots that are purchased for the sole purpose of jacking up those OTS counts. So the idea of making OTS the standard will only further damage the credibility of the marketing industry.

For this irresponsible backsliding, we designate the OAAA our Measurement Menace of the Month. ∞

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