Updated: Kinetic says Eyes On not mandatory for OOH buys in New Year

November 21, 2011 by Dave Haynes

Kinetic Americas has clarified a news story yesterday that suggested the media planning agency was no longer going to buy any Out Of Home that was not measured by the Traffic Audit Bureau for Media Measurement’s “Eyes On” ratings.

The story suggested the world’s largest planner and buyer of OOH would only buy Eyes On-rated media starting in the new year, leaving countless smaller OOH companies that are not rated off plans.

Kinetic says in a statement now up on its website that it is simply demonstrating Kinetic’s commitment to the Eyes On audience measurement currency. Kinetic will still be working with non-measured OOH units, but those media companies will be scrutinized and discounted based on the commitment of the vendor to adopt Eyes On.

Kinetic is actually just picking up and running with what TAB’s Board of Directors voted on and announced a few weeks ago – declaring the EYES ON ratings as the official currency for buying and selling OOH media for the formats currently being measured. As of Jan. 2012, TAB said it was no longer endorsing methods that reported the opportunity to see ads and shifting to measures that report how many people likely or actually see the ads.

Kinetic is the first media agency to publically state its use of Eyes On in all of its clients’ media plans for next year.

I write all this because measurement is a big issue for Digital OOH network operators, and any hint that OOH buys will be subjected to tighter and specific ratings would probably make a lot of those new media firms jumpy because of the time and cost.

Eyes On does not, however, affect Digital OOH … at least not right now.

“We wholeheartedly support the industry’s adoption of Eyes On and the movement to instate a more accurate and standardized form of audience measurement,” said David Payne, CEO, Kinetic Americas. “The system provides rich demographic data that facilitates Out-of-Home planning in comparison and conjunction with TV, radio, print, and the web. With Eyes On, advertisers can see how including Out of Home will enhance their marketing objectives.”

Unlike measurement in other broadcast forms of media, Eyes On measures actual impacts, or those who actually see the advertising, and provides demographic details. Nearly 400,000 units (including bulletins, posters, and other street furniture) are currently measured; however, some smaller vendors have yet to adopt the system given the added expense and are still operating under the older form of measurement, Daily Effective Circulation (DEC).

“There is an industry-wide commitment for all media owners to report in Eyes On Impressions (EOI) come January 2012. As an agency, Kinetic will not accept DEC from vendors who have declined to be measured under the new system,” said John Connolly, COO, Kinetic Americas. “We will be heavily scrutinizing and discounting non-measured units, and urging those who have not adopted Eyes On to work with the TAB to have their inventory measured as soon as possible.”

So there is no hard date to be rated, but there is clearly a little stick being used here to move OOH operators down the better measured path.

Joe Philport, President and CEO of TAB, confirmed Kinetic is only looking at formats measured by TAB, specifically billboards, posters, and street furniture. “While I cannot speak for Kinetic,” said Philport, “I would assume they would want digital place-based to use measurement that follows the DPAA’s set of guidelines.”

What’s interesting, though, is that a big chunk of the digital future – whether you want to to call it Digital OOH or Digital Place-based or just digital posters – is the conversion of 100s of 1,000s of posters and street furniture analog faces to screens. Very presumably, Eyes On will apply at some point.

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