GroupM Malaysia pits Nielsen against ComScore

Reckoner compares what Nielsen DAR and ComScore vCE can deliver to marketers.


KUALA LUMPUR - In a bid to dispel marketing hype around measurement tools, GroupM Malaysia is taking on the role of product evaluator. The agency has put out a checklist comparing the offerings of Nielsen and its competitor ComScore.

Nielsen DAR (digital ad ratings) is scored against ComScore vCE (validated campaign essentials) for viewability, reach, frequency, GRP (gross rating point), brand safety and unique audience.

*Evaluation as per the data shared by Nielsen and ComScore in Q4 2016. Source: GroupM

The checklist shows there are areas of overlap between the two measurement tools. Both cover real-time data and their reports include basic metrics such as percentage of on-target audience, total campaign reach and unique audience. 

However, only ComScore vCE is able to measure behavioural targets and brand safety, while it also offers publisher access for marketers to create a whitelist of websites. Meanwhile, Nielsen DAR provides cross-device tracking and is able to measure on-target on mobile across browsers and apps (except YouTube’s in-app), compared to its competitor which lacks such capabilities. Its updated product also provides campaign, publisher and placement level reporting with the ability for publishers to opt into access.

Nielsen DAR's algorithm is drawn from its partner Facebook, which has 19 million registered users who are aged 15 and above in Malaysia that are recalibrated with media quality panels. ComScore vCE partners with Kantar for 135,000 users on its respective audience panels which are then extrapolated to 14.5 million online users. 

Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific, GroupM Malaysia CEO Girish Menon said Nielsen might appear to have the edge on paper with Facebook as their backend panel, but it is of little benefit to advertisers since very little of the rich data collected by Facebook is available on the Nielsen report.

"We hope that with the continued push from advertisers and agencies for Facebook to make their data more accessible, we will be able to take full advantage of the consumer data that is being collected," said Menon.

In addition to dispelling hype, he reiterated that the checklist was intended to help marketers and media planners who have not had the opportunity to study each of the products in-depth.

"Both companies' products are in a stage of constant evolution, so I am sure this reckoner will change in a matter of months as the new versions of these come out in due course. As we all know, the online space never stands still!" said Menon.

With each tool having its own strengths, Menon said it boils down to the nature of the campaign and what the agency wants to measure. 

"If you are talking about cross-device reach and frequency, then yes Nielsen does have the edge now. But if we are looking at brand safety, then only ComScore has that capability at the moment," he said.

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