Ends Reports of Click-Through Rates

Posted on July 10, 2001 is eliminating click-through rate reporting from future reports to its advertising clients. CBS, 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 advertising formats that communicate information to our audience more effectively than ever before,'' said Scot McLernon, EVP Advertising Sales at ``Ad formats like the rich media window allow viewers to get an advertiser's complete brand message.''

Instead of click-through reports, is planning to provide post-impression analysis reports similar to those used when advertising clients measure offline media performance. 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'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. 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.''