Media auditors merge, offer viewability consultation

Merger of media measurement and digital auditors is intended to address growing concerns in the industry about digital media quality, and the threats posed by ad fraud and poor viewability

The Alliance for Audited Media (AAM), a 100-year old non-profit association that provides standards, audit services and industry data for cross-platform media, has announced it will take ownership of Interactive Media Services (ImServices), a consulting firm that carries out audits for digital publishers such as Yahoo, AOL and eBay.

Known until 2012 as the Audit Bureau of Circulations, AAM has long been the auditor of record for print media circulation in North America. More recently it has established analytics and auditing tools for digital circulation, mobile and social analytics, and audience information, and has made efforts to address growing issues around media standards and advertiser trust in the digital sphere.

The merger is intended to address growing concerns in the industry about digital media quality and the threats posed by ad fraud and poor viewability. It brings together the long-established authority of the AAM and the digital expertise of ImServices which, among other things, maintains the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s international bot blacklist. ImServices staff of 15 will be absorbed into AAM’s 200-strong organization, based in Illinois.

“Digital advertising fraud and waste are industrywide problems,” said Christina Meringolo, executive director of global media services at Merck Consumer Care and chairwoman of the AAM board, in a release. “AAM, with its tripartite membership and nonprofit mission, was built to address these areas. Combining the skills and experience of ImServices with AAM’s cross-media expertise will strengthen the organization’s capabilities and ultimately help advertisers and media outlets to transact with greater trust and confidence.”

The AAM also announced that it would be establishing a new consultation service for technology vendors that offer viewability services. The new Certified View will provide information, implementation testing and support for Media Ratings Council accreditation. The program is built on industry viewability standards finalized by the MRC in March.

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