Why AVE is toxic to PR

It’s high time for public relations practitioners to put the kibosh on the ad value equivalency metric, the author vehemently asserts.

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Of the seven Barcelona Principles established seven years ago, only one made headlines—that which that debunked (AVE), a flawed metric that tries to assign dollar values to media coverage.

The number of people tracking AVE has been steadily dropping. The most recent NASDAQ CCO survey claims that 37 percent of CCOs still use it. A recent PRWeek/PRCA poll pegs it at 35 percent, and the Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) says it’s more like 18 percent.

Whatever the number, if it’s greater than zero, it’s still too high.

AMEC recently announced an initiative to dump AVE. The push includes pledges by members not to provide AVEs by default to any client, as well as additional resources to explain why the measurement is untenable.

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