Ogilvy Australia ditches AVEs

Ogilvy PR Worldwide is to roll out new global standards for measurement after its Australian arm pledged to ditch AVEs.

In a series of interviews with Australian trade publications at the weekend, Australian CEO Kieran Moore revealed that the agency was working to develop a set of value metrics.

The agency commissioned research that found domestic agencies and clients identified 'demonstrating and measuring effectiveness' as the top threat facing the agency. Just one per cent predicted AVEs would remain the most important industry measurement in ten years.

The new value metrics, due to be rolled out globally later this year, will be a variety of tools that clients can choose from to monitor campaign effectiveness.

Stuart Smith, Ogilvy's global corporate practice MD of Europe, Middle East and Africa, was initially unaware of the plans when contacted by PRWeek. But he agreed 'the industry has been using AVEs as a crutch for far too long'.

More than a year ago PR professionals met at an AMEC conference in Barcelona to agree the first global standard for PR measurement, and last month met again in Lisbon to discuss priorities.

Smith added: 'Many of us agreed with the AMEC plans but since then not a lot has happened. Finding a standard way of measuring success is difficult because it means different things to different people.'

Moore took a stronger stance: 'The aim is to take the role of a business consultancy focused around comms and brand building - rather than be considered a press release factory. AVEs are more about justification than determining actual effectiveness.'

Richard Ellis, PRCA comms director, agreed: 'AVEs are meaningless. Banning AVEs puts Ogilvy PR Australia ahead of the curve.

'AMEC's value metrics will be key if PR is to step out of the advertising shadow and demonstrate the impact of what we do.'

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