The battle to use mass advertising metrics online continues.

Tom Hespos’ ClickZ article about the New York Times offering “session” ad buys rather than impressions is very interesting.

Basically I’m against mapping frequency, reach, GRPs and other mass ad concepts onto the Internet because they were initially created as crude approximations to overcome the lack of exactness that the Internet should provide marketers with. I’d rather see us use DM pricing models for most online advertising.

Still, I do understand that some marketers want to use the Internet as a branding tool and studies have found online ads are in fact an effective way to brand. So the NYT new model of allowing one brand to “own” a session (one unique user travelling through five pages of the NYT site) offers a unique way of measuring the “brand exposure” provided by the site. Since ALL ads the user sees on ALL the pages of a given session belong to one brand, it is hard to see how the user could miss the message.

It’s also good to see that publishers have not given up on innovations that aren’t anti-reader (see previous anti-pop-up ad rants).