BBC News has released the findings of a global study that supports the idea that high-quality content leads to better results for advertisers.

The findings are designed to counter last-click attribution – described as a “dumb metric” that publishers complain allows web giants like Facebook and Google to claim too much credit for ad-driven sales, and therefore win too large a share of ad spending.

Alistair McEwan, BBC News’ senior vice-president of commercial development for APAC, told Campaign Asia-Pacific: “The core driver in why we’re doing this is because there has been a lot of digital misattribution in the industry about necessarily ascribing value and therefore investment to media that can demonstrate a higher level of attribution.

“We feel this is not a fair reflection of the value of premium media companies that have been providing audiences and quality content to brand campaigns for time immemorial,” he added.

The BBC’s study involved more than 16,000 respondents and nearly 200 campaigns worldwide across the travel, finance, airline, automotive, technology, B2B and foreign investment sectors.

The BBC’s own AdScore results provided most of the data, based on campaign-effectiveness surveys, which used aided and non-aided brand recall of brand awareness, consideration and recommendation. This data was then cross-referenced with that collated by third parties, such Nielsen, Salesforce and IAS.

The BBC also used partners to help it build its own media-planning simulation tool. McEwan said this would optimise campaigns and link them to BBC content based on brands’ objectives, and give clients the performance clarity they’ve been demanding of publishers, especially in the planning stages.

The research highlighted the case of a branded content campaign for Korean Air, where airline sought to increase global awareness of Korean culture beyond K-pop and Gangnam.

A “Heart of Korea” series, developed with BBC Storyworks, the commercial content division of BBC Advertising, paired with the airline’s own creative, delivered 50% above average brand recommendation levels.

“You can’t just say ‘trust me’ to a brand and expect them to invest,” McEwan said. “Those days are gone.

“It’s absolutely the responsibility of trusted media like us to be able to demonstrate the value of our media to a brand.”

Sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by WARC staff