At the end of this month, my 12-year term as President and CEO of TAB will come to an end, and so too will one of the most rewarding chapters of my career.

I joined TAB with no experience in Out of Home advertising. After a brief academic career, I spent much of my time working with syndicated research companies and advertising agencies.

Nothing has been more gratifying to me than my work with the members of TAB and the OOH industry. Together, we have built a high quality ratings system from scratch. From the start, it was a collaborative effort with executives of TAB member companies, leading research and software companies, and the TAB staff working to design a ratings system that meets the needs of a medium significantly different from other local media. As I take my exit, I leave you with several lessons I have learned during my tenure -

Today's TAB Out of Home Ratings are a valued asset. The TAB Out of Home Ratings system meets the needs of the industry and provides a valued currency for the buying and selling of our medium. As we have recently added transit ratings and ratings for digital spots, we have demonstrated that it can expand to meet the needs of a dynamic media landscape. Another evolution of the ratings is the incorporation of INRIX's speed data into our system, which represents merely a first step toward leveraging new data options.

Collaboration is the foundation for growth. Continued collaboration between buyers and sellers, researchers, and platform providers is the only way to grow our industry. No one person has all of the answers because the right questions are still being formulated.

Ratings are only one piece of the puzzle. No one believes more in the importance of ratings than I do, but ratings are not a quick-fix solution for growth. They are an essential ingredient for conducting media transactions and are part of the larger advertising eco-system. They must seamlessly fit into all advertising business processes-from the basic buy/sell transaction to the clients' ROI analytic systems. This requires applications platforms and the ability to merge OOH ratings with other media data, new insight data from big data sources, and client sales data.

Standards, process, and platforms should not be overlooked. Before the value-proposition of ratings is fully realized by our clients, we need to be using the ratings with consistency. That takes standards and platforms. Standards and platforms make the process more fluid and accountable. TAB has facilitated that process by recommending standards and providing TAB ratings to new 3rd party analytic companies.

Mainstreaming is the roadway forward. It is only natural for companies to want control of "their data". But in the evolving world of big data, I believe that ultimate value comes from the mainstreaming of data throughout the eco-system. Putting data into the hands of potential clients translates to greater consideration and greater demand.

The future of our industry's research and ratings is bright. The time has come for a change of leadership at TAB. The ratings system provides a strong foundation for moving forward into a world of big data, new solutions and a stronger information-based value proposition for our industry.

Although I am leaving my current position at TAB, I am not planning on leaving the industry. I am pleased to continue working with the TAB Board and Sequent Partners in the transition process and look forward to seeing where this exciting collaborative journey will take us.

Thank you for your support, your insights and your friendships. What we have today has become a reality through your efforts, and because of you, our industry's future looks bright.

Dr. Joe Philport


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