IPA and ISBA make collective call to action for more accountable media data

The IPA and ISBA have united to call upon the media industry to demand and provide objective and independent data to underpin the accountability of all media and their respective trading markets.

In a paper, launched at a cross-industry event, the two industry bodies ask for all parts of the industry to continue to defend the vital importance of accountable audience data, and to uphold the highest industry standards of methodology and independent verification. The document also lays out the reasons why the industry needs credible data, and the perceived barriers to achieving it. 

Specifically, the paper calls on the industry to uphold the following five standards:

  1. Ensure the audience data used for trading is based on metrics and methods that comply with agreed, open industry standards.
  1. Insist those standards are upheld by independent auditing.
  1. Hold proprietary data sets to the same level of accountability as industry-owned trading currencies.
  1. Support the principles of the Joint Industry Currency (JIC) model as the best-in-class approach to providing objective and comparable audience data and metrics.
  1. Encourage all media owners and platforms to engage with the Joint Industry Currencies (JICs), not to the exclusion of their own data sets, but to enhance their credibility with advertisers.

To accompany the guide, the IPA and ISBA have drawn up a list of key questions to ask in order to understand whether a data set is fit for purpose (see attached document).

Says Phil Smith, Director General, ISBA: “Audience data is a cornerstone of the industry; it is fundamental to decision-making and transactions. As such, the long-term health and prosperity of the media industry is reliant on objectivity and confidence which can only be maintained if tracking data is understood and trusted.”

Says Paul Bainsfair, Director General, IPA: “The industry has recently been reminded of the risks of trading without the guarantee of objective and independent measurement. There are promising signs that the walls around the digital platforms are coming down and that the more opaque parts of the digital world are being illuminated. However, there is no room for complacency and there is still a lot of work to do. The principle of joint industry oversight of the research underpinning media is fundamental to confidence in advertising.”

Download the free report, summary, list of accompanying questions and Richard Marks' presentation.

A Matter of Fact – The need for accountable media audience data and how to get it, was launched at 09.00 on Thursday 1st June at the IPA (44 Belgrave Square, London, SW1X 8QS). Speakers included President of the IPA, Sarah Golding; Director General of ISBA, Phil Smith; and Founder of Research the Media, Richard Marks. Watch the presentations:


Last updated 21 January 2022