Retail Media Network Standardisation

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Albertsons Media Collective, the retail media arm for Albertsons Companies, Inc. (NYSE:ACI), last week shared a preliminary framework to standardize specifications, methodologies, terminology and disclosures across retail media networks.

At Cannes Lions, Albertsons Media Collective hosted a critical discussion on the topic. ‘Transforming Retail Media Through Standardization‘, alongside leaders from Omnicom Media Group, Pinterest and R3.

Kristi Argyilan, SVP of Retail Media for Albertsons Companies said “While retail media is booming, the lack of standardization has produced an unnecessarily complex, inefficient and costly ecosystem. For retail media to achieve its full promise, we must tackle the issue of standardization head on. To ensure the survival of this industry, we must come together toward a greater goal. We believe this framework will serve as a starting point for creating a unified approach to retail media standardization. Setting a new gold standard is the first stepping stone to revolutionizing how advertisers, agencies and retail media networks work together.”

As retail media continues to proliferate, advertisers and agencies must dedicate significant resources to producing varying ad formats, as well as transact, measure and integrate insights from each platform. This has led to advertisers experiencing difficulties in cross-platform comparison, limited transparency and inconsistent reporting.

This week Geopath added their voice to the conversation and congratulated Albertsons, OMG, Unilever, Pinterest and R3 on their announced initiative to bring standardization to measurement of Retail Media Networks but urged the partners to ensure inclusion of OOH retail media in that effort. Geopath CEO Dylan Mabin said “As the audience measurement provider for the OOH industry, Geopath is committed to advancing standards that improve the stability and reliability of data, not just in OOH, but across the advertising eco-system. To that end, we congratulate the effort announced at Cannes to advance standardization of measurement for Retail Media Networks. As this effort moves forward, we urge the partners involved to ensure that the growing place-based retail media segment, including in-window and in-store advertising, be included for consideration in their framework. Geopath stands ready to assist them in that effort.”

The first version of the framework introduced by Albertsons Media Collective concentrates on four areas; product characteristics, performance measurement, third-party verification and capabilities. The framework will be finalized after pressure-testing industry-wide priorities and ensuring executional feasibility. Guided by an advisory group, this framework will also expand and evolve further to support key initiatives by the IAB.

Aaron Sobol, Head of US Media Investment and Partnerships, Unilever said “At Unilever, we are supportive of this workstream as we believe it’s essential for the industry to come together to tackle standardization when it comes to attribution, measurement, frequency of reporting and transparency. We continue to be an advocate for industry wide solutions”.

According to eMarketer estimates, retail media networks are slated to bring in USD 106 billion in U.S. ad spending by 2027 – more than double the USD 45 billion expected in 2023.

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