Can MRC OK For comScore Metrics Tame The Turmoil?


By Adam R Jacobson

WINCHESTER, VA. — Northern Virginia-based digital measurement firm comScore has certainly had its share of turmoil in recent weeks.

For those not keeping score, there was an anticipated delisting from Nasdaq set for Feb. 8.

That didn’t happen, but shares in SCOR have not recovered from a $9.20 drop seen between Feb. 3 and Feb. 6.

The plummeting share value is directly tied to the revelation that comScore has been unable to file its Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2015 in a timely manner, resulting in a shareholder lawsuit over alleged securities laws violations by comScore associated to the delayed filing.

It also seems fiscal 2013, 2014 and 2015 results are in question for comScore, which completed its merger with former competitor Rentrak Corp. in January 2016 and is now keeping the financial world in suspense as it has hastily called a conference call for Friday, Feb. 24 at 8 a.m. to “provide a company update.”

For believers in comScore’s abilities and its long-term needs to marketers and CMOs, an announcement Wednesday morning from the Media Rating Council is a much-needed bit of positive news that could even ensure its long-term survival and getting gobbled in a fire sale by Nielsen.

Simply put, comScore has been granted MRC accreditation for two key metrics categories, building on its recent accreditation of its Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT) detection capabilities across both desktop and mobile web.

Specifically, the MRC gave its OK for comScore’s mobile viewable impressions and related viewability metrics for display and video ads, in mobile web and in-app, in validated Campaign Essentials (vCE).

“We congratulate comScore on the accreditation of its mobile display and video viewability measurement metrics,” said MRC Executive Director and CEO George W. Ivie. “Expanding its MRC accredited viewability metrics from desktop now to mobile clearly demonstrates comScore’s commitment to quality measurement regardless of platform, and further establishes comScore as an industry leader in promoting a superior measurement environment for the buying and selling of digital advertising.”

Dan Hess, comScore’s EVP/Products, added, “We’re working hard to help our clients and the industry bridge the gaps that divide devices and platforms. Cross-platform ad verification – including mobile viewability – helps close one such gap.”

ComScore was the first company to offer an MRC-accredited viewable GRP for desktop display and video campaigns. The company’s Audience module of validated Campaign Essentials, which includes its reporting of digital campaign age, gender, and behavior-based ethnicity demographics, and the resulting reach, frequency and GRPs, received MRC accreditation in April 2016.