Why I'm Skeptical of MRI's New Ad Effectiveness Ratings
Mediamark Research & Intelligence (MRI) announced this week the first ad ratings for magazines, which they hope will give advertisers the accountability we have all been looking for. MRI is known throughout the industry for measuring the audience of consumer magazines, and I will always applaud any attempt at truth, justice and magazine accountability. I started to read this report with great anticipation of finding out something worthwhile and truly just in the nick of time for our industry.
I was greatly hopeful to read that the new “AdMeasure” is “designed to elevate magazine audience measurement granularity to the level of TV and the Internet.” Well, it is about time someone figured out how, in an analog world, to compete with the real-time data of the Internet.
Apparently, AdMeasure’s ratings will come from three sources: MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer, the MRI Issue Specific Readership Study, and research from MRI Starch, which does research on the effectiveness of print ads. Does it work? You be the judge.
For my reaction, my hopes were dashed when, if I got this right, the data for AdMeasure and the data that will compete with the Internet will be a collection of human survey collected data. Is this the magic bullet we have been waiting for? Is this going to be the true accountability system that the magazine industry so dearly needs? My friends, I think not. I have been spending the last few weeks at trade shows like DigiDay where agencies are explaining their needs, wants and desires. None of those needs, wants and desires are of compiled ancient data collected last week, last month or last year. They want the data that was collected in the last minute. Who went where, what did they do, and how many purchased something?
Is that extraordinarily tough to compete with? Yes. Does the amazing AdMeasure come close to achieving that? No. Not as I see it.
I'm all for a new system, and heaven knows we need something. But their hubris to expect -- and most importantly claim -- that this will compete with the real-time data of the Internet is ludicrous. Please don't make claims that are so obviously incorrect.