Report: Kym Frank No Longer Running Geopath, Leaving Amidst What Observer Termed A Coup

May 27, 2021 by Dave Haynes

Media Post is reporting that Kym Frank has left her role as President and figurehead for the non-profit media measurement organization Geopath.

The report suggests she stepped down in a disagreement with board members, but that the chain of events was engineered by Anna Bager, who took over as President of the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) a couple of years ago.

I have no idea what’s up, and what went down, and I can’t contact Kym ‘cuz the email I have is her Geopath email. One note, from a very reliable source, suggests this was not a resignation but a walk off the plank.

What I do know is Frank is suuuuuuuper-smart, and that this seems a very unfortunate turn of events in an industry that has been dealing with trying to sell out of home media – when the potential audience was being asked, for substantial stretches, to NOT be out of home.

Says the report:

But executives said Frank resigned when several of Geopath’s board members (many of whom are also on the OAAA’s board) expressed a lack of confidence following a series of events leading up to this year’s conference, especially the OAAA’s surprise issuance of various industry standards that appear to encroach on other peer trade organizations — especially Geopath, but also the Digital Place-Based Advertising Association (DPAA).

“Coup by Anna” was how one knowledgeable source described it, referring to OAAA President Anna Bager.

There is no indication on the Geopath website of leadership change, and also nothing on social media (unless they danced the news on Tik Tok).

A comment tied to the post suggests Geopath and the OAAA, which has board people who also sit on the Geopath board, were at odds over the methods and nomenclature for audience measurement …

Says Tony Jarvis of Olympic Media Consultancy:

GeoPath, under Kym Frank, significantly updated and refined the various data collection techniques in an evolving mobile digital world that underpin the reporting of the ‘Eyes-On’ OOH currency audience data which was established under TAB, its predecessor. 

Prior to Anna Bager, the OAAA had already required TAB/GeoPath to drop the exquisitely and brilliantly termed, “Eyes-On” OOH currency description to “OOH Ratings” which I castigated at the time!

OOH Ratings were subsequently referred to as “Likelihood-to-See” at GeoPath which does not give the GeoPath methodology and the OOH sellers the complete sense of the value of its unique audience ad exposure measurement currency to advertisers and their media agencies versus other major media.

If OOH returns to impressions or OTS, Opportunites-to-See, it WILL, and should, be discounted along with all the audience data for other media that merely report impressions and that need to be adjusted to exposure to the ad by the target audience medium by medium.  As the agencies and notably the OOH Specialists know, no “Eyes-On” (or Ears-On) ad exposure, no ad outcomes! 

I am simplifying this hugely, but the argument being laid out by Jarvis (I think) is that the OAAA people want a looser measure of audience because that will almost always, or always, be a bigger number.

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