External Use and Citation of comScore Data Formal Policy & Guidelines

Updated: September 2018

The purpose of this document is to state the policy and guidelines for clients, partners, journalists and other organizations citing any comScore data in the public domain. The policy is as follows:

COMSCORE POLICY FOR PUBLIC CITATION OF DATA

  • comScore’s Prior Written Approval is Required for Public Data Use:
    • No entity or person will copy, disseminate, publish, distribute, transmit, display or otherwise disclose externally any comScore data (custom or syndicated) without comScore’s prior written consent.
    • Examples of external materials requiring prior comScore written approval include press releases, press outreach, collateral, presentations, social media, paid or unpaid advertisements, websites and academic papers.
    • Companies under current agreement for comScore data (clients) must work with their primary comScore commercial contact to obtain comScore Marketing's prior written approval of their request.
    • Additionally, clients publishing studies or other more in-depth uses of comScore data must also receive prior written approval for the specific intended data usage. 
    • In order for comScore to provide approval, all materials must adhere to comScore data citation guidelines as outlined in this policy below.
  • Original Data and/or Report is Required when Requesting Permission to Use comScore Data:
    • For verification purposes, prior to receiving comScore written approval for external data usage, entities or persons must provide comScore with a duplicate of the data report used as the original source for external materials as well as a description of the intended usage and context in which the data will appear.
    • Data will only be authorized for the requested context and may not be used beyond that scope without additional written approval from comScore (e.g. if comScore approves data use in a presentation, the same data is not to be used in materials beyond that presentation, including press releases, without prior written notice from comScore).
  • Current Client Agreement is Required to Use comScore Data not in the Public Domain:
    • Companies using comScore data for promotional purposes must be under a current agreement for said data from comScore (clients) unless said data has already been placed into the public domain by an authorized party.
    • In this context, public domain includes comScore websites, comScore press releases and other public communications, and/or articles in the media.
    • Non-clients who wish to use comScore data in the public domain are required to comply with the relevant usage and citation guidelines as if they were clients. comScore reserves the right to ask non-clients to correct or update the data to make sure it is aligned with the usage and citation policies outlined in this document.
  • comScore Must Maintain its Status as an Independent, Third-Party Measurement Supplier:
    • comScore must maintain its objectivity and cannot endorse or appear to endorse one party over another.
    • comScore does not and will not take a position on how clients choose to promote comScore’s data in external channels.
    • While comScore can and will verify the accuracy of the comScore data being published, comScore will not take a public stance on marketing positioning or materials.
    • comScore employees may not be quoted making promotional comments in third-party press releases.
      • There may be specific exceptions in which inclusion of comScore employee quotes does not jeopardize comScore’s independent, third-party standing (e.g. industry associations such as DCN, IAB or ANA that commission comScore research for the benefit of an entire industry (or industry sector) or a joint product announcement).
  • comScore Reserves the Right to Take Action or Respond to Incorrect Data or Policy Violations:
    • comScore reserves the right to prohibit clients from publishing certain data points, particularly those pertaining to out-of-date, inaccurate, objectionable or otherwise controversial content.
    • If a client publishes incorrect or out-of-date data and does not comply with comScore’s request to correct the data in a timely fashion, comScore reserves the right to provide the correct or current data in the public domain, or to provide the correct or current data to parties that inquire about it.
    • If a press outlet or other third-party contacts comScore to verify or refute comparative claims, comScore, per this policy, will only verify or refute the accuracy of comparative claims.
      • Further, comScore will provide the party with language that reinforces its role as an independent and impartial measurement supplier and restate that this policy requires comScore to refrain from commentary about how clients choose to promote or market their own market positions and rankings.

GUIDELINES FOR PUBLIC CITATION OF COMSCORE DATA 

Ranking and Trending Guidelines

  • Clients Must Denote Rankings from Actual Syndicated Categories and Entity Groupings:
    • Any ranking claims based on comScore data must use the actual ranked entities from the comScore Ranked Category view.
    • Citations of rank must mention the ranking in some context, such as a category or demography, according to comScore’s Ranked Category view (e.g., comScore Media Metrix®, News/Information, Total Audience, July 2018, U.S.).
  • Clients Must Denote Client’s Custom-Defined Rankings Derived from comScore Data:
    • There may be select instances in which clients wish to make competitive claims based on the best available apples-to-apples definitions at the brand level, content level or other appropriate view of the market. Such instances will be allowed provided that comScore vets the comparability of these entities and the context in which they are being used.
    • If the client refers to a category or entity grouping other than as defined by comScore, the ranking must have an accompanying footnote indicating that the list of entities is custom-defined by the client and must indicate the entities included in that view.
      • If the custom-defined list of entities is long, only a reasonable number of the entities need to be included in the sourcing, but an accessible list should be kept on file and made available publicly upon request.
    • Any marketing or promotional language citing a client’s custom-defined ranking must, in addition to indicating that it is according to client’s own custom ranking, not be directly attributed to comScore as the source. However, client’s language should mention that the custom ranking was created using comScore data. (e.g. “PQR is the leading entity in XYZ category*”; footnote: *According to PQR’s custom-defined ranking based on comScore data.)
  • Clients Must Avoid Making Claims Based on Trending/Ranking Data with Inorganic Changes (definition below):
    • Claims of changes in rankings due primarily to methodological or reporting enhancements (“inorganic changes”) should be avoided. Clients who have benefitted in a ranking due to such a change may make claims about its current ranking but should avoid competitive claims attributable to these inorganic changes.
    • In some cases, clients may refer to trends that include some minor element of inorganic changes; however, they are cautioned to be judicious. If asked by news media as to the validity of such claims, comScore will always be transparent about factors that may have caused an inorganic increase or decrease.
    • Clients wishing to provide “trended” data must first consult with comScore to verify the accuracy of the trend. Changes in product methodology or projections as well as data from “beta” periods can render certain “trends” invalid as the historical data may not be a direct “apples-to-apples” comparison with current data.

Reporting Entity Guidelines

  • Clients Must Adhere to Proper Syndicated Entity Citations:
    • Specific and accurate entity descriptions in the citation must be consistent with the labels used in comScore syndicated reports – e.g. “Match.com” vs. “Match.com Sites”, whichever appears in the report.
      • If the client wishes to use an abbreviated version of the entity for the sake of marketing style/brevity, it may do so as long as there is an accompanying footnote indicating the specific entity being used for the claim.
  • Clients Must Delineate Custom Entities Through Proper Citations:
    • Any custom report - whether proprietary or syndicated, including Custom Entities (denoted by an [E]) or ALT-Rollups (denoted as [A#]) - from which data is quoted must be appropriately referenced as such through footnotes. (e.g., custom research conducted for [Client Name] by comScore [Month, Year] OR comScore Custom Reporting, June 2018, U.S.)

Brand and Sourcing Guidelines

  • Clients Must Reference Proper Sourcing and Relevant Time Period:
    • If a client refers to a specific, standard comScore report, whether custom or syndicated, the report must be appropriately cited using the proper name of the report and source, “comScore.” (Note: lowercase c, uppercase S)
    • The comScore product/service, data periods, and geography must be properly sourced (e.g., Source: comScore Media Metrix®, June 2017, U.S.).
    • Appropriate reference to the specific reporting metrics being used (e.g., “unique visitors”) and time period (e.g., June 2018) should also be cited.
    • Client should source the most recent practical reporting time period in their public communications.
      • For syndicated research, the time period should be the most recent data available that also allows sufficient time for creation of the communications material. Clients should not “cherry pick” past data points purely for the purposes of highlighting a favorable position that may no longer hold true.
      • For custom research or studies, the time period may necessarily be from several months past due to the extended nature of many of these analyses.
  • comScore and its Products Must be Properly Sourced:
    • comScore syndicated data should be referenced as provided by an audience measurement or ratings service, not a “survey,” “study” or “report.”
    • Clients who quote a comScore dataset alongside another data source or a different comScore dataset (such as standard and custom categories) must clearly distinguish between the different datasets. comScore data may not be used in direct comparison to another, non-comScore audience measurement or web analytics platform.
    • Clients who wish to include a description of comScore in press releases may do so. The most recent comScore company information and official boilerplate may be found in press section of our website at: www.comscore.com/companyinfo.
    • comScore corporate and business unit names are trademarks in various markets and must be referenced accordingly. This includes the proper use of capitalization, even at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph, and use of the trademark symbol “®” for comScore’s registered trademarks (e.g., "Media Metrix,” "MMX,” "vCE", “TV Essentials,” “StationView Essentials,” “UDM,” "Unified Digital Measurement,” and the "comScore" logo). Important: “Media Metrix®” should only be used within the United States; “MMX®” must be used instead for all other regions. For example:
      • comScore Media Metrix® (comScore MMX® internationally)
      • comScore TV Essentials®
      • comScore StationView Essentials®
      • comScore Mobile Metrix®
  • comScore Logo Must Follow Designated Parameters:
    • Do not alter the comScore logo in any way. Do not warp, distort, mirror, stretch, rotate, skew or apply effects to the logo. Do not change the logo color. Do not separate the elements. Never attempt to create the logo yourself, change the font or alter the size or proportions. Do not use old versions of the comScore logo. Download comScore logo files here.
    • Leave space around the logo equal to the height of the capital ‘S’ in comScore. Any background inside the clear space must be even and free of other graphic elements.
    • The primary comScore logo is the three-color version—Pantone 1495C, Pantone 299C and Pantone 446C. When color or printing prohibits this, it may be used in all black or reversed out to white. The logo can appear on color, illustration or photographic backgrounds, as long as the legibility and integrity of the logo are not diminished.