A global initiative was announced today (May 17, 2017) to eradicate fully the use of Advertising Equivalency Value (AVE) and all of its derivatives as metrics in public relations work.

Richard Bagnall, Chairman of the International association for the measurement and evaluation of communication, made the commitment at AMEC’s Global Summit in Bangkok.

Bagnall, CEO, Prime Research UK, said: “It’s time AVEs stopped being a talking point in our industry. We will be investing significant time and resource to kill off finally this derided metric.” Bagnall said new industry research showed the client demand for AVEs had dropped from 80% in 2010 to just 18% this year. He added: “Now is the time to kill it off completely once and for all.”

Bagnall said the AMEC board has unanimously committed the organisation to eradicating the final demand for the invalid metric.  New initiatives will include:

  • Creation of a global online educational resource centre to show why the metric is invalid
  • All AMEC members to sign an undertaking that they will not provide AVEs by default to any client. Any client that requests AVE as a metric will receive standard educational material explaining why the metric is invalid and should not be used. They will be offered alternative metrics instead.
  • Making further improvements to the Integrated Evaluation Framework to make it even easier to use, and choose replacement metrics
  • Putting increased funding into AMEC’s Global Education Programme to educate PR and communications professionals in best practice measurement techniques
  • Working with PR Award organisers around the world to introduce a zero-scoring policy if awards entries include AVEs as a metric. AMEC members will not provide an AVE as a metric for any award competition entry.
  • Working closely with academics and PR practitioners to help them help AMEC kill off the demand for the metric which is sustaining it currently.

The announcement of the new initiative at the Global Summit on Measurement received warm support from AMEC’s membership. 

Bagnall said: “The final death of AVEs will only be achieved when all relevant parties work together. AMEC is increasing its efforts to educate the market on why AVE is a flawed metric. We need help to reach the students of PR and communications as well as the current practitioners and that is where we will work with our partners. 

“One of the Barcelona Principles stated that AVEs is a flawed metric. Now we will focus on making sure that everyone can explain why, and offer suitable alternative measurement instead.”