The TAB Arc of Progression
TAB was formed under the sponsorship of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) as an independent and not-for-profit organization. The organization's primary purpose was to audit the circulation (DECs) of "outdoor advertising displays."
A tripartite entity, TAB's support comes from the three major industry segments: advertisers, advertising agencies (general and specialists) and out of home media companies. Each of these segment companies has representation on TAB's Board of Directors, with controlling interest by the advertiser/agency segments. This model ensures buyer control (agencies and advertisers) over policies and auditing, guaranteeing unbiased independent third party data collection and verification.
In December 2004, TAB's Board of Directors voted to expand TAB's responsibility, assigning it a leadership role in the implementation of new industry audience research initiatives. With this additional responsibility, it evolved from a general circulation audit organization to a focused, audience measurement research entity. This enabled us to standardize measurement, leading to the development of an out of home research program that became the foundation of EYES ON.
In October 2011, the board unanimously approved a resolution declaring TAB's EYES ON ratings system the official currency for the buying and selling of out of home media. Additionally, the board resolved that TAB will no longer endorse the use of DECs as a measure of out of home audience. This decision followed an 18 month transition in which the value of the new system was confirmed by TAB membership, underscoring a unified industry endorsement across our advertiser, agency and media members.
Also in 2011, the board approved the first major update of the EYES ON system, allowing TAB to incorporate the latest 2010 census data along with other travel research in order to update market composition, travel patterns and subsequent EYES ON ratings in all markets. This allows the system to be more granular in nature, offering users true commercial ratings.
In December of 2011, the board unanimously approved the expansion of EYES ON measurement to include transit media covering interior and exterior bus advertising as well as rail cars and stations.
In May 2012, the Board of Directors elected to change the name of our measurement system from EYES ON to simply TAB Out of Home Ratings. The new name clearly expresses what it is, a ratings system comparable to those used by other media. The ratings are now available through a variety of 3rd party suppliers such as Nielsen IMS and Telmar who have fully incorporated it into their out of home and multi-media planning systems.