NEW YORK: Digital media owners' inventory should be measured by a third party according to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), which warned that ad spending would move away from those unable to provide this facility.

When the organisation surveyed its members, 97% of respondents agreed on the need for independent verification of viewability standards, while 90% said they were not fully confident that their digital working media met current industry standards.

Some large media owners do not allow third-party measurement vendors to report viewable ad impressions to their clients, preferring to use internally derived metrics that have not been independently verified.

But nearly two-thirds of ANA respondents felt "very strongly" that a digital media owner should have internally derived metrics accredited by the Media Rating Council.

And if this pressure was not enough to shift the thinking of such media owners, some 61% of ANA respondents indicated they would shift their spending elsewhere if these owners failed to provide the independent measurement they sought.

"During a time of intense scrutiny on transparency and accountability, it's vitally important that all digital media owners measure viewability by an independent third party, consistent with industry standards," said Bob Liodice, ANA president and CEO.

"The future of digital advertising measurement relies on heightened accountability through consistent industry standards by all in the ecosystem," he added.

The Alliance for Audited Media, an associated body founded by the ANA, noted that the quality of the digital supply chain was only as strong as its weakest link.

"Marketers have a vested interest in ensuring that all the various technologies, platforms, and media channels on which their digital ads run have been independently verified as meeting industry standards," it said.

Both it the ANA called for marketers to take a lead and demand the greater transparency and accountability that comes with a third-party certification audit.

Data sourced from ANA; additional content by Warc staff