The spectre of AVE


In homage to Measurement Week 2014 I issued a survey on the use of Advertising Value Equivalence (AVE) via Twitter asking whether the disputed metric is still prevalent in the PR and marketing industries. The results might surprise:

Over 100 of you responded, with 42.86% stating that they still use AVE as a form of measurement for the majority of their clients. Just 10.2% of respondents said that they do not use the metric for any of their clients,  with a further 10.2% saying that they rarely use it.

Finally, 20.41% said that they still use AVE for all clients.

The value of AVE as a measurement for PR has long been debated, and the Barcelona Principles set out in 2010 were,  in part,  designed to do away with the metric. While this survey only offers a very small cross-section of the PR and marketing industry,  it clearly shows that AVE is still in common use.

I hope that AMEC’s Measurement Week will provide some clarity on replacing this outdated and ineffectual metric, helping PR professionals to understand alternatives, educate their clients and push for a viable and long-term solution that offers an accurate representation of the benefits of PR.


2 thoughts on “The spectre of AVE

  1. Interestingly, you’ve captured the dirty little secret of AVEs in a measurement poll. All reputable measurement services have pledged to end AVEs. However, I suspect that many of those services also confirmed that they still include AVEs. How Universal Information Services looks at the issue is that it is our responsibility to counsel our measurement clients on the best methods for measuring their outcomes relevant to goals. That includes discussing specific metrics that truly gauge impact and behavior. But, if a client wishes to also include AVE as a metric because they have a colleague who doesn’t care about the debate, and wants to see that number, we will include it with a definition of use.

    All metrics should be defined when used for PR measurement. The methodology should be transparent and the numbers/math included for the client so they can confirm the accuracy of the work. Including an AVE as a key metric is reckless, but including it as a qualified metric can be appropriate when the user is properly educated and demands it. Of course these are my feelings, others may disagree. Thanks for sharing this post!

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