Greater transparency will lead to internet advertising boom

13 Nov 2008

Online advertising represents only 3.5pc of total ad spend in Ireland, compared to 14-18pc in the UK, and this will only improve if publishers and website owners are more transparent about their audience figures.

This is the view of Liam English, chief executive of BlueMetrix, which yesterday launched a new internet audience measurement service for Irish website owners and advertising agencies.

English, who hails from Cork, started BlueMetrix in Japan at the end of 2000, and now it is the main audience measurement system in that country and used by major brands such as Ricoh, Panasonic and JVC.

He exported the model to Scandinavia, where it has also become the major internet audience measurement (IAM) tool of choice.

BlueMetrix plans to expand into the Irish and UK markets, and English believes now is the right time.

He points out that in Ireland most online publishers provide their own traffic figures to the market. But internationally, in markets where internet advertising has boomed, the norm is to have such data published nationally by an independent body with a complete and transparent picture of usage habits.

“Transparency grows the internet ads business, that’s a fact”, English told

“In the markets we are in, our data is accepted as certifiable audience data.

“We are comfortable enough in the value of this technology to go head to head with Google Analytics, and believe we will give publishers a better understanding of their audience, as well as the ability to predict future spend based on better analysis,” he said.

BlueMetrix has witnessed an increase in online ad spend in countries where IAM systems are adopted, such as in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Japan.

Denmark has been identified as having the potential to become the first European country where online’s share of marketing budgets will soon overtake TV.

BlueMetrix’s new service IrelandMetrix will provide an independent platform that will take traffic data from subscriber sites and publish it for the benefit of the internet advertising industry.

The company has developed a new video traffic measurement technology in Japan in collaboration with MSN, Yahoo! and NEC.

Instead of reporting on just a select handful of big brand websites, the new service will profile the widest range of sites to enable the ad industry to make intelligent media purchasing decisions based on real data rather than guessing trends.

Ireland has now the third fastest-growing internet audience in Europe, with 15pc year-on-year growth against a European average of 8pc, according to Comscore.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years