Group M puts Nielsen’s and comScore’s ratings to the test


 ( As the buzz around online audience verification heats up in Malaysia, GroupM is taking a bold step forward in releasing its in-house evaluation of the industry’s two popular audience verification products, Nielsen’s DAR and comScore VCe.

Nielsen groupm

Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) and comScore’s validated Campaign Essentials (vCE) are the two audience verification products which have been introduced into Malaysia over the past year.


GroupM CEO Girish Menon stated: “There has been a lot of debate recently about viewability and advertisers are increasingly concerned about the quality of their ad inventory. Measurement tools like vCE and DAR are essential for marketers and agencies, however both products have their pros and cons and it can be confusing to choose between the two.”

“Sometimes agencies can create hype by using one or the other and claiming it is the best. So we decided to publicly release the results of our own in-house evaluation for the benefit of the industry and to promote a transparent and open dialogue around these tools.”

According to GroupM, the key aspects of the two verification tools are:

1. Nielsen DAR has a partnership with Facebook, while comScore vCE partners with Kantar for their respective audience panels

2. Both products are able to provide real-time data and their reports cover the basic hygiene metrics such as ‘% of on-target audience’, ‘total campaign reach’, ‘unique audience’ for campaign planning and optimisation purposes.

3.Nielsen’s algorithm is built on Facebook’s audience profile of 19million registered users (aged 15+) in Malaysia, recalibrated with ‘media quality’ panels. Whereas, comScore’s audience verification is based on proprietary Malaysia panel of 135,000 users (extrapolated to 14.5mil online users, aged 15+). So on paper, Nielsen DAR has a more comprehensive panel base, although comScore will explain that from a statistical POV it is not necessary to sample the entire universe to get accurate data.

4.comScore is able provide publisher access, making it possible for marketers to use post-campaign data to prepare whitelists & blacklists of sites that can be included or excluded for future campaigns. Likewise, Nielsen provides campaign, publisher and placement level reporting with the ability for publishers to opt into access.

5. Nielsen’s DAR can provide cross-device tracking and reporting and is able to measure on-target on mobile across browsers and apps. (except YouTube In-App), whereas comScore VCe does not have these capabilities yet.

6.comScore VCe can measure viewability and brand safety, both of which are critical must-haves for brand campaigns. Nielsen is also working with a growing number of viewability providers, including Integral Ad Science, DoubleVerify and Moat to offer viewability metric within DAR reporting.

Girish concludes: “GroupM’s view is that both systems have still not addressed all the requirements of 3rd party audience verification, but I am confident both will keep evolving and improving. For the moment, planners and marketers need to pick the most suitable system based on the nature of their campaigns, i.e. Desktop vs. Mobile, In-browser vs. In-app, and of course, the cost of using the tool.”


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