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WPP acquires Medialets as urgency grows behind need for mobile standards

In a reflection of the growing urgency felt by advertising agencies regarding the need for mobile standards, media conglomerate WPP has acquired Medialets, whose display impressions and click measurements are accredited by the Media Rating Council. 

With a lack of reliable reporting and measurement often blamed for impeding mobile advertising growth, Medialets became the first third-party mobile ad server to receive MRC accreditation early last year. Not long after, the company started experiencing significant growth, Medialets reporting that its volume has increased more than four times since September of last year. 

?MRC accreditation last year put us on the map,? said Richy Glassberg, chief operating officer at Medialets. ?The last seven months have been the best we have had in the business. 

?We give a lot of security knowing that in a environment that is more complicated, that marketers can make sure they get what they buy,? he said. ?They can know with confidence that they are getting the impressions they buy and they can measure real ROI.

?I think mobile is becoming a much more integral part of every media plan. You are going to see mobile dominate the conversation.?

Agencies and mobile
Over the past year and a half, Medialets has been focused on building a mobile ad-serving platform geared toward agencies and currently works with all of the major media conglomerates. 

Medialet?s main offering is Servo, a mobile ad-serving and measurement solution geared toward agencies and marketers that was introduced early last year. Using Servo, marketers can deliver, measure, attribute and better understand the return-on-investment of their mobile impressions. 

WPP will bring additional resources to Medialets that will help it grow at a faster pace than would have been possible had it remained an independent company. 

With WPP?s significant resources behind it, Medialets will be focused on expanding its attribution capabilities, creating safe environments for brand advertisers and boosting its ability to identify users and devices.  

Medialets will continue to operate independently. 

Shifting budgets
Accreditation from an organization such as MRC is meant to give marketers and agencies the confidence to shift more of their budgets to mobile because they have a better understanding of how many of their ads are actually being seen by consumers.

The MRC accreditation means Medialets is in compliance with standards for mobile advertising issued by the MRC, Interactive Advertising Bureau and Mobile Marketing Association. 
Medialets? success since gaining accreditation ? both in terms of its growth and its gaining the attention of media giant such as WPP ? suggests that agencies and marketers are eager for assurances that will support their ability to shift more of their budgets to mobile. 

Medialets reports that its volume during the first three months of 2015 ? typically slower months in advertising ? were each successively higher than the last month in 2014.  

?Once a client starts third-party ad serving in mobile and turning on attribution to measure, we?ve seen a significant ? larger than 40 percent ? increase in dollars to mobile from desktop,? Mr. Glassberg said. ?We are seeing that time and time again.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York