Everyone's Grading Their Own Homework
September 28, 2017 – Ad Age – In a series of planned public appearances earlier this year, Procter & Gamble Co.’s Marc Pritchard delivered a pointed message to the media industry helmed by the digital duopoly of Facebook and Google. “Stop grading your own homework,” Pritchard said, by which he meant allowing no third-party oversight for the performance of ads on their platforms. In March, both Google and Facebook said they would subject their metrics to oversight by the Media Ratings Council. Spurred on by a resurgent buy-side, it seemed for a moment that third-party measurement was gaining an edge, and that the era of platforms grading their own homework was coming to an end.
Then things changed. Just a month later, Oracle bought MOAT, a third-party ad viewability measurement company, for $850 million. In June, Snapchat purchased Placed, a location-based measurement company, effectively ending its run as an independent measurement option for agencies and publishers. Doubleverify was recently acquired by Providence Equity Partners, en route to “a forever home with a player like Nielsen, Adobe or, more likely, one of the larger marketing clouds,” according to AdExchanger’s analysis. And finally, there is open speculation about who will swoop in to buy Integral Ad Science, the last of the major third-party measurement providers.
Just as major ad players vowed to stop grading their own homework, they starting buying the entities responsible for grading it.
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