a common frame of reference by the end of the year

The Digital Alliance and the SRI tell the JDN how they are working on the development of a standard for measuring the impact of the distribution of digital campaigns on greenhouse gas emissions.

Propose to the entire advertising industry a common benchmark for measuring the impact of the distribution of digital campaigns on greenhouse gas emissions. This is what the Syndicat des Régies Internet (SRI) and the Alliance Digitale are working hard together on. The goal? By the end of the year, allow advertisers to make decisions based on the same criteria for measuring the impact of campaign distribution, regardless of the tool used for this purpose.

“Measuring the carbon impact of advertising activities becomes mandatory for companies with more than 500 employees under scope 3. This will therefore be a criterion for all major brands when they choose the media and supports for their These choices will have repercussions for the entire industry. However, we have seen the emergence of a large number of companies specializing in measuring the impact of campaigns. The concern is that each used different criteria to measure the impact of campaigns. It is therefore a major challenge to harmonize this measure”, explains Arthur Millet, CEO of the Digital Alliance. “This common methodology will make it possible to feed any tool for measuring the impact of market campaigns so that digital can speak with one and the same voice”, declares Hélène Chartier, general manager of the Syndicat des Régies Internet ( IRS).

To harmonize the way of calculating the carbon impact of the distribution of digital campaigns, it was already necessary to be able to involve the tools offering this type of measurement and then to agree on a method and on a database on which to rely. To start, the two organizations relied both on the reference system developed by the SRI, made public in October 2021, and on a database used to feed the calculations. Initially open only to members of the SRI (there are about forty to date), this database should be available in open source by the end of the year. As of last spring, all of the players involved in measuring the carbon impact listed by the Digital Alliance were invited to take part in a collective discussion to develop the reference system. Since then, some twenty tools for measuring the carbon impact have taken part in the work, to which will soon be added specialists in the advertising distribution chain and in particular programmatic. This group will evolve.

“Each major media is gradually taking charge of building its own repository (SNPTV, billposting, press, radio, etc.). On digital, we only had the SRI repository open to their members only. for us, it is now to create a standard so that the measures reported to the advertiser are all done in the same way”, specifies Arthur Millet. “It’s a collaborative work in an open source spirit that will evolve over time,” adds Hélène Chartier. “It is also an issue of transparency: we need all those involved in measuring advertising circulation to be as responsible and transparent as possible with regard to this data”, concludes Arthur Millet.

Scope of the future reference

The scope of this repository is very precise: it focuses on the impact generated by the distribution of digital campaigns, ie on the activity of the servers, networks and terminals through which the campaign circulates. Its purpose is to enrich measurement tools in parallel with existing repositories, for example, for calculating the impact of advertising creations or other offline media.

Different factors can come into play and impact the carbon footprint of a campaign’s delivery, including the format chosen, the device preferred, the number of impressions purchased or the business model. The impact will not be the same depending on whether the publisher uses header bidding, which involves using different servers, or whether the agreement is over-the-counter (without intermediaries). A video campaign will consume more energy than a live broadcast. display. But everything will also depend on its completion rate, the resolution during viewing or the type of network used (mobile or wifi).

Partner of major platforms, such as Google or Meta, the SRI represents digital agencies of actors as diverse as the press, TV or pure players. Same diversity on the side of the Digital Alliance, which brings together 250 companies of all sizes, including adtech, agencies, platforms and also advertising agencies. “With this reference system, everyone will be on an equal footing”, concludes Arthur Millet.

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