The Branded Content Marketing Association (BCMA), the organisation which represents the interests of those involved in advertiser-funded advertising, is setting up a working group to look at measurement systems, as experts warn a lack of accountability could stifle growth in the area.
Mark Cullen, chief executive of branded content specialist Enteraction TV, warns: “This will always be a fringe industry unless we find a way of measuring it.”
Some agencies involved in brand content already have in-house systems for measuring their own projects, but there is no industry standard. Andrew Canter, managing director of branded-content agency Contentworx, has been tasked with heading the working party. He says: “We need to have some sort of industry-recognised measurement.”
All traditional media, such as television, radio and outdoor, have recognised measurement systems that give vital information to marketers, he says.
“Branded content has an intrinsic value,” adds Canter, a member of the BCMA. “We need to have a recognised system that gives advertisers the confidence to know what exactly they are going to get from their investment.”
Canter says, however, that because projects in the branded-content area are so different, it may prove impossible to come up with a system. A solution may combine different measurement systems out there, he says.
“We do need to have a debate and at least have the backing of industry bodies such as Institute of Practitioners in Advertising to recognise that the world has changed and advertisers must too. It is early days and we are talking to a lot of different companies at the moment.”
The BCMA was launched internationally in 2003 as an independent body to bring together organisations from advertising, sponsorship, media, broadcasting and entertainment industries to address the needs of the branded-content market.
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