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Nielsen, AOL Chase Ads With TV-Like Ratings

Web giant issues bold guarantees regarding its online GRP's

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Is Nielsen’s online measurement service ready for prime time? AOL thinks so—and is guaranteeing against Nielsen’s new Online Campaign Ratings.

While Nielsen’s gross ratings points are used as currency ­by the entire television industry, its online GRPs are generated in a very different way and then parsed so that they are, in the words of Nielsen’s Steve Hasker, “exactly comparable to TV.” That’s a claim that will be tested in coming months, as Nielsen and AOL push the new model to advertisers still casting about for a convincing measurement metric.

The tinkering will likely continue for agencies. A rep for GroupM, which is working with Nielsen on this project and another focused on multiscreen measurement, said, “There is still some work to be done before we adopt this as a standard for video buying.”

Both Nielsen and AOL are pushing toward a more TV-like ad model in order to gin up interest among television ad buyers, who the companies hope can be convinced to repurpose some of their mammoth TV budgets and spend on digital. “Television has continued to grow,” said Jason Krebs, chief media officer at rival Tremor Video. “Would it have grown more if there hadn’t been that increase in digital? Who knows?”

Soon, though, a lot of people will.