Unilever calls for industry to help develop cross-media measurement model

A year since Unilever threatened to pull all advertising from Facebook and Google, the results of its drive towards greater digital responsibility and transparency are beginning to come to fruition.


Unilever is calling on the marketing industry to help it towards it goal of building the first cross-media measurement model in the latest stage of its efforts to accelerate the drive towards greater digital responsibility and transparency.

The initiative comes 12 months after marketing boss Keith Weed warned platforms including Facebook and Google that Unilever will pull investment unless they “overhaul their behaviour” and tackle issues such as fake news and toxic content. The aim is to help brands measure campaign effectiveness across TV, digital and social media.

Unilever claims it has made “significant steps” towards building a model that offers brands transparency of media performance by assessing unduplicated reach and impact across publishers, platforms and screens.

This was done by “working proactively” with digital advertising and measurement companies including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Kantar Media and Nielsen.

READ MORE: Unilever threatens to pull ad spend from platforms that ‘breed division’

Unilever is now working with industry body the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), as well as others, to help make it an “industry-wide solution”.

“To realise our vision of a more transparent and high-quality digital ecosystem, our partnerships have been, and will remain, instrumental in developing an always-on, privacy-safe model for cross media measurement,” says Weed.

“We are hugely encouraged that our digital and measurement partners worked with us to enable these significant steps towards solving the challenge of holistic media measurement. This represents a genuine willingness across the industry to find creative, effective solutions to shared issues.”

Facebook’s VP of global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, says: “It’s important that we and others work toward a cross-media measurement solution – one that leverages independent third-party systems, protects privacy, and improves people’s experience with ads.”

The initiative is part of Unilever’s ‘digital responsibility framework’, which covers three key areas: responsible platforms, responsible content and responsible infrastructure. The measurement aspect falls under the latter commitment, which says Unilever will only partner with organisations that are committed to creating a better digital infrastructure and improving the consumer experience.

A holistic measurement system is just one of its aims, alongside consumer data protection and third-party verification.

Unilever is not the only organisation calling for a better measurement system, particularly in digital where each platform tends to have its own metrics and measures of advertising effectiveness. The IAB is working across Europe to establish common online benchmarks around areas such as viewability, while other companies including Procter & Gamble have urged digital players to clean up their supply chain.