NEW YORK: Advertisers in the US may soon be able to measure the ratings for individual TV spots, as part of a pioneering initiative involving the Association of National Advertisers and The Nielsen Company.

At its recent TV & Everything Video Forum 2010 – covered in more detail here – the ANA provided an insight in to a new measurement tool it has tested in partnership with Nielsen.

Two FMCG firms, two retailers and an insurance provider took part in the first In-Home Commercial Ratings Pilot Test, which was based on a survey of 70 households in all.

It relied on Ad-ID, described as a unique "web-based system ... that generates a unique identifying code for each advertising asset, creating a capability to identify them across all media."

Not only does this technology, developed by the ANA and the 4A's, simplify data entry, but it is also speeds up the process of generating results.

Overall, the ANA–Nielsen research found that "this test of audio codes yielded an 85% detection rate of brand-specific commercials" in its first stage.

A second such sample exercise, based on a panel of 1,000 households in the US, saw this figure improve beyond 90%.

Terrie Brennan, svp, new business development, at Nielsen, suggested that certain obstacles remain, such as the need to give separate codes to commercials for local, national and syndicated TV.

However, she added that the progress made to date shows "it is technically possible to measure commercial viewing in the home."

"We were not just looking to work across TV, but across all media content, including Internet and online," Brennan continued.

The next step for the programme will begin in the second quarter of this year, as Nielsen attempts to further develop the technology to bring detection rates closer to 100%.

"In an age of accountability, we should not have a band of error surrounding something that we spend $70 billion (€51.6bn; £44.8bn) a year on," said Bob Liodice, president/ceo of the ANA.

He reported that 400 companies have adopted this kind of "commercial identifier" for a total of 700 brands thus far, a figure that is continuing to rise.

To view more detailed coverage of the ANA's TV & Everything Video Forum 2010, click here.

Data sourced from Warc; additional content by Warc staff