MarketWatch.com Ends Reports of Click-Through Rates

Posted on July 10, 2001

MarketWatch.com is eliminating click-through rate reporting from future reports to its advertising clients. CBS MarketWatch.com, a financial news and information website, will shift the focus of ad performance reports toward campaign reach, post impression analysis, and brand/product offering awareness.

``We are taking this bold initiative to complement our new CBS MarketWatch.com advertising formats that communicate information to our audience more effectively than ever before,'' said Scot McLernon, EVP Advertising Sales at MarketWatch.com. ``Ad formats like the rich media window allow viewers to get an advertiser's complete brand message.''

Instead of click-through reports, MarketWatch.com is planning to provide post-impression analysis reports similar to those used when advertising clients measure offline media performance. MarketWatch.com clients interested in click-through data will still be able to obtain it upon request.

``Click-through rates are a misleading statistic -- they aren't indicative of raised awareness or of consumer interest,'' McLernon noted. ``Too many web advertisers and potential advertisers have been misled by this metric.''

The Online Publishers Association (OPA) believes that CBS MarketWatch.com's decision to stop automatically reporting click-through rates to their advertising clients is an important step in refocusing the industry on a new vision of how to measure success. The OPA states that click-through rates fail to account for the branding and behavioral effects that are achieved online, particularly within quality editorial environments where consumers spend a significant amount of time. MarketWatch.com is a founding member of the OPA.

``There is no doubt that web advertising works -- it's the measurement method that has come up short these past few years,'' McLernon added. ``As a media channel, the Web can measure reach and frequency with more accountability than any other medium, and awareness and lift can be measured using traditional pre- and post-campaign research.''

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