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Westwood One Launches “ROI Guarantee,” Calls It a First

Says data confirms radio’s ability to generate a positive return

Radio advertising works, according to Westwood One, so the company is launching a program intended to show advertisers how sure their investment really is.

It says numerous Nielsen national studies have shown a positive ROI when measuring sales results for multiple brand category campaigns. Westwood One is so sure about this, that it has introduced what it calls the first industry-wide “return on investment guarantee” in the audio space.

The goal, the content provider says, is to give marketers confidence to invest advertising dollars in radio without risk.

This is how the company describes the program. Westwood One said it will partner with “qualifying clients” to accomplish their business objectives. Because campaign creative influences 50% of sales “lift,” Westwood One says, the commercial creative will be pretested and benchmarked against audio creative test norms to ensure consumer “impact and resonance.” Nielsen, in turn, will measure return on advertising spend on behalf of that radio campaign, which includes all media that run across the broadcast radio landscape as well as Westwood One, by matching Media Monitors ad occurrences with Portable People Meter listening, Nielsen credit card data and in-store CPG purchase data provided by from Nielsen Catalina Solutions. The outcome: If the ROI is not positive, Westwood One says, it will run more “media weight” at no cost to deliver the guaranteed ROI.

Suzanne Grimes, president of Westwood One and EVP of corporate marketing for its parent Cumulus Media, was quoted in the announcement saying that brands that use media are “deeply concerned” over ad fraud, viewability and questionable metrics. “Marketers demand solutions that reach their target customers and generate results,” she said; the Westwood One ROI Guarantee is intended to advance radio as an effective measurable “mass-reach” medium.

The announcement is garnering some attention in the ad community, with this writeup in AdWeek.