With consumers bombarded by thousands of advertising messages every day, and with the great majority of ads, regardless of platform, receiving very low levels of attention, key experts in the so-called “attention economy” have launched The Attention Council (TAC).

The Council’s objective is to bring together experts from all parts of the marketing ecosystem – from technology vendors, to ad experts, to academics – to analyse the quality of advertising placements through what the group calls “the lens of attention.”

One of TAC’s founding members, Marc Guldimann, CEO of Adelaide, emphasised that, for too long, media evaluation has been focused on the raw quantity of audiences rather than the quality of the environment in which audiences view advertising.

He cited the example of how an audience of 40 million Netflix viewers – who can be easily distracted within that viewing environment – differs from an audience of 40 million movie viewers, where distractions are much more minimal.

“By looking at media through the lens of attention we can start to discern its quality,” he said.

Karen Nelson-Field, another TAC founder, noted that focusing on the quality of advertising placements can benefit all parts of the media and marketing universe – incentivizing publishers to provide better experiences to consumers and marketers.

“For me, the actual genuine desire to improve our ecosystem is what drives me to this group,” she said. Nelson-Field is CEO of the Centre for Amplified Intelligence and Professor of Media Innovation at The University of Adelaide and worked on Dentsu Aegis’ global Attention Economy Initiative earlier this year. (Read more here: The high value of low attention.)

That project, supported by TV broadcasters and digital video-sharing platforms, set out to take a fresh look at how the advertising marketplace assesses media.

Initially, TAC’s focus will be on thought leadership, with an emphasis on attention metrics, ethics, research, education and lobbying. It also plans to look at the creation of an attention-based currency for media buying.

Nelson-Field acknowledged the challenge ahead. “It’s a very complex conversation. It’s not that one thing needs to be fixed. It’s not just a viewability issue,” she said.

Other founders include Mike Follett, managing director of Lumen Research, Ezra Pierce, CEO of Avocet, and Yan Liu, CEO and Co-founder of TVision.

Sourced from WARC