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Internet companies have had great success selling advertising space, in part because the effectiveness of those ads is supposedly so easily measured. But marketers, even as they continue to push more of their ad budgets online, are starting to ask for better proof.
A group of large companies, including Kimberly-Clark, Colgate-Palmolive and Ford Motor have said that by the middle of 2007, they will demand that online publishers hire auditors to check their ad and viewer counts. And analysts say they believe that online ad growth over the long haul will depend on the eagerness of large advertisers like these to shift more dollars online.
Marketers Demanding Better Count of the Clicks [nytimes.com]
Any evidence is better than we have currently. Other industries use independent firms to audit samples of the circulation claims. Is it now time for the PPC players to work with an independent body to carry out random audits?
And I completely agree with the TV comment too. Do we need auditors peeking in homes during the Super Bowl to make sure they're watching ads and not taking a P? Hey, audit away. Getting rid of invalid clicks is only going to drive the price of a valid click through the roof.
*they will demand that online publishers hire auditors to check their ad and viewer counts.*
How is that PPC? Sounds more like impression and/or user counting to me.
*Other companies...* thats where the article starts going into the topic the headline suggest.
A good example of really bad journalism...taking big names and connect them with a message those names didn't mention.
Just because it is hip to write about *click-fraud* and doing so may produce more impressions than the true story does not turn an editorial piece of BS into a newsworthy story that needs to be reproduced on a board that really does not need to do impression-whoring.
From the article: *The bureau joined these marketers in a public letter stating that Web publishers need to have their ad tracking systems monitored and certified by the Media Rating Council, a nonprofit group based in New York. The council has certified media tracking since the 1960s and is the main arbiter of Web site tracking. *
Looked up the website and yes it looks right from the 60s but the hit counter seems to be stuck at 2103...
Sorry, but while the topic is a VERY interesting one, articles like this are so far of the mark that the whole threat should be removed...its just a bad start for a meaningful discussion.
WRT the "one person is counted as two when using both a work and home computer," this type of measurement "error" is inevitable when the criteria used are cookies, useragents, etc., rather than statistical sampling of a user base.
Only says to me that these companies are totally incompetent!
For anyone working with any large PPC or affiliate programs, based upon clicks or impressions, this has been in place for several years already!
The audit trail can be done electronically and relatively easily. I guess the old world is a long way behind the new world.....money to be made there as they won't catch up quickly!