Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Dump the clickheads this Valentine’s Day, warns IAB UK

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB UK), the industry body for digital advertising, has released a short film on Valentine’s Day to mark its fourth annual National Anti-Click-Through Rate Day.

Aiming to ‘take the deceit out of data-ing with the IAB Data-ing app’  the film focuses on digital metrics for advertisers – including those that are not always what they seem. The campaign is 2022’s instalment of IAB UK’s ongoing attempt to discourage the use of click-through rates as a form of digital ad measurement.

As part of the campaign, IAB UK has mapped the different verification metrics offered by online media owners in one place for the first time. This has been developed following a study by IAB UK, conducted with LongTerm Digital late last year.

National Anti-Click-Through Rate Day, which began in 2019 with the now infamous ‘Don’t be a Clickhead’ campaign, calls out the ineffectiveness of click-through rates and aims to educate the industry about alternative measurement metrics. 

Jon Mew, CEO of IAB UK, said: “Four years on from our first National Anti-Click-Through Rate Day, our campaign against clicks is still needed. Our research shows that click-through rates continue to be advertisers and agencies’  most valued metric when it comes to direct response campaigns, giving a one-sided and fragmented snapshot of how a campaign is performing. 

“The serious message behind our activation this year is that while CTRs will tell you something about your ad’s performance, it won’t tell you the full story. By getting comfortable with alternative digital metrics, advertisers can gain more reliable and holistic insight into performance. As an industry, we can then begin to realise digital’s potential as a brand building tool – particularly as channels that aren’t built for clicks go mainstream, such as digital audio and gaming.” 

IAB UK’s Measurement Toolkit continues to be available as a resource for anyone keen to explore the different measurement options available.