AAM Board Endorses AAM-ImServices Post-Merger Digital Strategy

By: Alliance for Audited Media | Press Release

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, ILL. (July 22, 2014) — At its meeting last week, the Alliance for Audited Media board of directors received an update on AAM’s recent merger with ImServices Group and endorsed a new integrated strategy aimed at helping the interactive advertising industry address key issues including  fraud, ad viewability and brand safety.

“Transparency is essential to everyone in the media ecosystem,” said Christina Meringolo, executive director of global media services at Merck Consumer Care and chairwoman of the AAM board. “Whether it’s making sure an ad campaign was served in the appropriate environment to the right targets or eliminating illegitimate clicks and bot traffic, advertisers need independent services and oversight to be assured our media investments reach quality audiences with quality results. Teamed with ImServices, AAM now has a deeper expertise to provide the industry with a needed layer of quality assurance from a nonprofit, tripartite association trusted by media companies, ad tech companies and buyers alike.”

AAM expects to introduce new digital marketing programs and services early this fall.

Board Takes Steps to Streamline

The board approved a series of steps to improve decision-making and lower costs. It agreed to trim its director positions from 38 to 30 over the next year and move from three meetings per year to two, with multiple conference calls throughout the year to more quickly address important issues and decisions. It also agreed to hold its fall annual meeting via web conference to encourage greater participation from more members.

“I think these steps will allow us to better serve our members and keep costs in control,” said Tom Drouillard, AAM’s CEO, president and managing director. “By reevaluating our board procedures and meeting formats we’re moving the entire organization to a more continuous cycle of decision-making and focusing more on investing in digital services for our membership.”

AAM Advisory Committees to Consider MPA Report Recommendations

Over the course of the last year AAM has introduced robust new data analysis tools in its Media Intelligence Center and a new online data filing interface for magazines. Next year AAM will launch new document production and data feed software that will further enhance reporting capabilities, which creates an opportunity to revisit the structure and content of AAM’s standard publisher’s statements and audit reports. These reports and the audited data contained in the Media Intelligence Center have been accessed or downloaded more than 500,000 times over the past 12 months by thousands of ad agencies, advertisers, publishers and others—with far broader industry dissemination via data partnerships and direct feeds to leading agencies and advertisers. 

At the AAM board meeting, MPA -The Association of Magazine Media presented suggested changes to AAM statements that would dovetail with the implementation of the new document production and data feed software. The board recommended that AAM’s advisory committees work with MPA in the next several weeks to discuss the specific recommendations to streamline and enhance reporting for U.S. and Canadian magazines.

The board expects to review proposed format changes this fall for potential implementation in 2015.

Key Changes for U.S. Newspapers

This fall all AAM and larger CAC U.S. newspapers will transition from filing six-month publisher’s statements to reporting cross-media data on a new quarterly “Audience View” report. In addition, beginning next year AAM’s traditional Snapshot report will be replaced with a new format that reflects quarterly newspaper information and is housed online in the Media Intelligence Center database.

The AAM board agreed to narrow the qualification requirements for digital editions. For “verified” and bundled single-price subscriptions, newspapers currently use a tiered access model (monthly, weekly, daily) as a guide when counting an individual subscriber who accesses content across multiple devices like tablets, smartphones and desktop websites. The board agreed to eliminate the tiered model and qualify all digital circulation units on a daily access model, which means subscribers can be claimed on days when content is accessed. The new standard is expected to become effective with the October-December 2014 quarterly filing period. As part of this action, the board also agreed to review the current “total consumer accounts” metric for possible modification or elimination.

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