Ad intelligence firm Standard Media Index has launched in Canada, with CEO James Fennessy (pictured) saying its goal is to become the standard currency for spending and pricing data.
First launched in Australia in 2009, SMI uses data pulled directly from media agency’s invoicing systems to offer what Fennessy describes as a “transformational” dataset for the Canadian market. SMI also has operations in the United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand.
Fennessy says that because SMI’s data is obtained directly from the billing systems of participating agencies, it provides a level of accuracy that is unavailable through standard rate card data—which can vary significantly from what advertisers actually pay.
Fennessy says that SMI’s estimates on data points on advertiser spend and media vendors’ revenue is typically within 2-3% of their internal figures. “Our value proposition is accuracy,” he says.
SMI has had access to Canadian agency data for “many years” through established global agreements with Omnicom, Publicis, Aegis and Havas, he says. However, the successful recruitment of both GroupM and IPG Mediabrands in recent months removed a major hurdle to opening in Canada.
“That really was what broke it open for us,” he says. “We already had [about] 65% of the marketplace, but we just didn’t feel it was a strong enough product to launch without getting IPG and GroupM onboard.”