Tuesday, July 08, 2008

IABC claim about online ad sales questioned

There is a minor dustup developing between the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IABC) and the website Digital Home Canada, which has questioned the bureau's recent announcement that online ad sales have jumped 32% to $1.2 billion.

Digital Home said in a recent posting:
This is not the first time the IAB has claimed that annual online advertising in Canada has topped a billion dollars. In April of 2007, the group said the Canadian online ad industry raked in $1.01 billion in 2006. Last week, in its most recent report, the group had mysteriously lowered the 2006 numbers to $900 million...The reason for not trusting the numbers is the IAB did not disclose which sites were included in the 2003 and 2007 survey, which sites responded to the 2003 and 2007 survey, what steps were taken to independently corroborate the findings and why the 2006 numbers where so grossly overstated.
Responding on the forum of Digital Home IABC president Paula Gignac said that there was no mystery, that because of concern about possible double-counting in previous surveys, respondents were asked to resubmit their 2006 results using a new form with new instructions.
In fact, I would say that if anything, IAB Canada probably underestimates the market in many ways. Take the case of Email. Because IAB Canada asks only Online Publishers what revenues they glean from Email advertising, we effectively miss all the extra revenue that companies such as Cornerstone and Thin Data are receiving to send Email marketing messages across the Canadian Web. Hence Email, altough it appears to have decreased in our most recent study, may in fact be growing. So why don' we include Cornerstone and ThinData in IAB Canada's study and get the real Email number? For the simple reason, that if we want to make comparisons to Online ad revenue growth in other countries, IAB Canada's Survey must be consistent with how other IABs across the globe measure their revenues.


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