In-home scanning and people meters: Information enhancement or respondent overload?

Date of publication: June 15, 1992


This paper examines advertiser and agency perspectives on single source data. The authors present a method of evaluating different single source systems based on the informational need for which each service was designed to address. The "focal point" of each system impacts its design and therefore the quality of each data element reported. While both parties share many of the same informational needs (i.e., targeting, media selection), it is likely that the "focal point" of their primary systems would differ. Mr. Godbeer points out that his primary interest as an advertiser is accountability'—the ability to quantify the sales impact of advertising, consumer and trade promotion. Mr. Philport maintains that the quality of media measurement in single source systems varies by the system's primary purpose. Advertising agencies are most interested in systems with high quality media measurement. Therefore, Young & Rubicam has launched an extensive investigation into the quality and utility of one such media-focused single source system; ScanAmerica. Conclusions from this stage of Y&R's investigation reveal that it is possible to achieve accurate media measurement within a single source panel, and that single source data provide a reliable and different perspective of the value of television vehicles when compared with demographic targets Mr. Godbeer, working with a different set of informational priorities, mentions that it is unlikely that advertisers will support a purely media-focused single source service and that media data, while necessary, will be added-value. He also notes that an ideal single source system would not merely report television viewing behavior, but exposure to all media. Both authors conclude that communication between all interested parties is necessary so that new products are developed to meet the needs of advertisers, agencies and the media

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