Mediamark Research & Intelligence (MRI) a provider of magazine audience and multimedia research data has announced AdMeasure (PDF link) a new ratings service to help advertisers measure the effectiveness of print ads in consumer magazines:

“Historically, a magazine's total readership was accepted as a proxy for ad exposure,” said Kathi Love, President and CEO of MRI. “But accountability-focused advertisers are demanding moredirect measurement of the reach of their ad campaigns. MRI's AdMeasure sharpens the focus of magazine accountability by moving the needle from measuring the opportunity to see a print ad to measuring how many readers actually saw the ad, as well as how many took an action as a result of seeing it. This goes a long way to answering the industry's desire for greater accountability for print advertising.”

BoSacks in his "Heard on the Web" Media Intelligence newsletter spoke out about the announcement:

MRI announced this week the first ad ratings for magazines, which they hope will give advertisers the accountability we have all been looking for. Mediamark Research & Intelligence (MRI) is known in the industry for measuring the audience of consumer magazines, and personally I will always applaud any attempt for truth, justice and accountability. I started to read this report with great anticipation of finding out something worthwhile and truly just in the nick of time. I was greatly hopeful to read that they believe that the new "AdMeasure" is "designed to elevate magazine audience measurement granularity to the level of TV and the Internet." Well, it is about time someone figured out how in an analog world to compete with the real-time data of the Internet. Apparently, AdMeasure's ratings will come from three sources: MRI's Survey of the American Consumer, the MRI Issue Specific Readership Study, and research from MRI Starch, which does research on the effectiveness of print ads. Does it work? You be the judge. For my reaction, my hopes were dashed when, if I got this right, the data for AdMeasure and the data that will compete with the Internet will be a collection of human intelligence gathered as a survey of collected data. Is this the magic bullet we have all been waiting for? Is this going to be the true accountability system that the magazine industry so dearly needs? My friends, I think not. I have been spending the last few weeks at trade shows like Digiday where agencies are explaining their needs, wants and desires. None of those needs wants and desires are of compiled ancient data collected last week, last month or last year. They want the data that was collected in the last minute. Who went where, what did they do, and how many purchased something? Is that extraordinarily tough to compete with? Yes. Does the amazing AdMeasure come close to doing so? Not as I can see it. I'm all for this new system, and heaven knows we need something, but their hubris to expect this to compete with the real-time data of the Internet is ludicrous. Please don't make claims that are so obviously incorrect.