ADUs Explained

TV Audiences are declining but the sell-side continues to inflate audience projections to maintain revenue. Often there is not enough inventory to provide all the audience that has been sold within the guarantee period. Advertisers and their agencies are left with network audience liabilities to recover that often go back several years. In order to measure this, MMi verifies ADUs or Audience Deficiency Units. This assessment enables Advertisers and Agencies to measure and act on the liability resting on Networks. 
So, when do ADUs come into play? During the media buying process, commercials are invoiced and paid for when they run. So advertising agencies need X amount of viewers for any given schedule of commercials, and pay before the actual audiences are calculated. After the commercial runs, 3rd parties like Nielsen Media Research provide insight into the actual viewers per commercial. Any time the actual rating points provided by Nielsen differ from the Network’s guarantee, ADUs are created to reconcile the difference.
Knowing the right terms to use is great, but how do you hold the Agency and the Networks Accountable?  Bring in an independent third party to audit your media spend. We here at MMi remove the pitfalls of Agency and sell-side self-reporting. We are the only media audit firm tracking ADU balances owed, and providing visibility into the forms and timing of restitution your agency may have accepted. We do this using source documentation of guarantees, or deals, and our groundbreaking software.
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