Britain’s BARB Investigates Interactive Ad Measurement

18 March 2003

Britain’s BARB (Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board) is looking into a measurement system for interactive TV ads.

The TV measurement service is contacting broadcasters, advertisers and agencies about an audit of such commercials, which allow viewers to buy goods, find out information and donate money through their TV sets.

“We need to grasp what the industry expects to see in terms of the measurement of interactive advertising,” declared BARB director of research Tony Wearn. “Until we know what people are expecting we won’t know what form the measurement will take.”

Broadcasters have welcomed the idea. “It would be very useful to know how many people see an ad compared to how many people interact with it,” said Merlin Inkley, Channel 4’s head of airtime management.

However, a final measurement system could take much time and money. Although the set-top boxes of leading digital service BSkyB are configured for BARB’s measurement service, those of free-to-air operator Freeview and cable systems NTL and Telewest are not.

Data sourced from: Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff