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At last week’s Association of National Advertisers annual Masters of Marketing conference, ANA CEO Bob Liodice ringingly endorsed adoption of the industry’s viewable impression standard for digital advertising. His position was backed the same morning by Procter & Gamble CMO Marc Pritchard, who told the 3,000 attendees that unitary standards are needed today if marketing is to remain both efficient and effective as the digital era continues to unfold.

It’s time for the ad agencies to get with the program.

Five years ago our industry accomplished something truly remarkable: the ANA, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), and IAB came together to fix digital measurement — the single greatest obstacle to marketer, publisher, and agency growth. Hundreds of interviews and cross-industry task force meetings determined that shifting the currency of digital advertising from the served impression to the viewable impression would benefit everyone by putting digital media on a par with other media where viewability had long been an established baseline. Viewability was to become the currency of the land. Digital media transactions were finally going to be measured based on exposure to individual advertisements, making digital the perfect medium for brand advertisers.

But because of agency recalcitrance, it hasn’t worked out that way.