AdSpace Looks to Clean Up Mall Metrics

AdSpace Digital Mall Network is hoping to put mall advertising on the same playing field as TV and radio advertising by introducing new audience metrics.

Instead of basing Nielsen’s On Location viewing estimates on traffic counts provided by mall operators, AdSpace is advocating a new metrics model using Scarborough Research’s mall visit estimates as the base.

Since Scarborough reports the number of people visiting malls and frequency of visits, buyers and planners would for the first time have reach and frequency estimates to evaluate mall advertising inventory.

“We want to make mall advertising work for traditional media planners, who buy [radio and TV] based on reach and frequency,” said William Ketcham, evp/chief marketing officer for AdSpace, which began selling off the new metric model last week.

Historically, ad rates for malls have been based on mall traffic counts from mall operators, which use varying methodologies to count mall-goers. As a result of the lack of standardization, planners often discount estimates. Scarborough’s estimates report 9 percent less traffic, but buyers believe it will be more accurate.

“Adspace’s transition from mall traffic to Scarborough ‘mall visit’ data as a baseline to apply Nielsen viewing data augments our confidence in [mall] audience measurement,” said Christina Radigan, associate director of marketing and communications for Outdoor Media Group & Outdoor Media Alliance. “Being able to identify reach of a specific demographic over time allows us to compare the efficiency of [mall advertising] to other major media.”