This data is embargoed until 00:01 Wednesday 11th September 2019

Total Brand Reach (TBR) rules

Total Brand Reach (TBR) is intended to be a measure of the reach of all related content for each publisher brand.

TBR appears clearly labelled as such in PAMCo published tables and is available for each brand as an over code within the data bureaux analysis systems. Except for third-party platforms, it is also possible to analyse each individual brand/sub-brand/related brand included within the TBR estimate, in order to break out the reach contributed by each component part of TBR.


TBR includes:

  • Related/sub-brands that share the main title branding or url of the parent brand eg The Guardian and www.the
  • Related and sub-brands that display the parent branding on the home page of the website/app. The branding must be clearly visible when the home page is opened. Branding can be in form of a logo, graphic, or front page image. Text must be in font size 8 point or greater.

For newsbrands, if the Sunday paper does not share the weekday branding (eg The Observer) the Sunday paper is included in TBR, to keep parity with titles where the daily and Sunday papers share branding.

Only publisher websites that deliver primarily text/visual content, including short videos, as part of the published media sector are included. Sites primarily delivering other types of content, e.g. for listening/extended viewing, cannot be included in PAMCo TBR definitions. For clarity non-publisher websites, including store/retailer/membership websites are not included in TBR definitions but could be part of the overall PAMCo dataset. In the event of uncertainty/dispute over the nature of content, or any other matter relating to inclusion, the PAMCo Technical Group will be asked to advise, and the final decision rests with the PAMCo Board.

In addition, the related/sub-brands concerned must be included in the Comscore respondent-level database as separate entities. This is so users, in the interests of transparency, can break out estimates for the related/sub-brand if they so wish to see what they contribute to the parent TBR.

It is noted that third-party platforms (such as Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP) will be included by default in the TBR estimates if publishers have taken appropriate steps for Comscore to include traffic for these specific platforms in the overall measure for the brand. However, it is not possible at this time for Comscore to include data for these platforms as separate entities within the respondent level database provided for data integration. It is not therefore possible to break out estimates for the third-party platforms within PAMCo or see what they contribute to TBR. This was also the case with NRS PADD.

The table below shows examples of how some related/brands would be treated in case this proposal is to be adopted:

Sub/related brand Parent brand Included in the parent brand TBR? Comment Daily Mail No There is no parent title branding on the website Evening Standard Yes There is parent title branding on the website Independent Yes There is parent title branding on the website The Sun No at present
YES subject to being included in the Comscore respondent level data as a separate entity
It shows parent title branding but is currently not included as a seperate entity in the Comscore respondant level data Chat/Pick Me Up Yes Shows branding (front covers) for Pick Me Up! and Chat on the homepage


Publishers need to ensure that all the related and sub-brands that they wish to see reported in PAMCo are included in the Comscore master list of PAMCo entities, which is circulated by Ipsos MORI at the start of each quarter. Publishers will also need to confirm what sub-brands and related brands should be included in the TBR definition, according to the rules agreed, and inform Ipsos/PAMCo of any relevant changes (e.g. parent brand logos being added or removed from home pages).

Given the comparability issues that are raised by the inability to break out third party platform traffic, for the purpose of transparency each publication should indicate whether their online audience estimates include third party platform estimates. This should be indicated by a symbol D (Distributed Content) contained in the name of the publication so it is immediately visible to users when using any analysis system or published tables. If a brand doesn’t indicate whether their online audience estimates include third party platform estimates, this will be indicated by a symbol U (undeclared) contained in the name of the publication.

Ahead of the quarterly data processing, Ipsos and PAMCo carry out spot checks as to whether TBR definitions met the agreed rules.

As a further check and balance, the PAMCo Technical Group is informed of any new additions to /removals from the TBR definition list each quarter, so that there is an opportunity to discuss concerns and ask for further information if required. In the event of differing views as to inclusion, the PAMCo Technical Group will be asked to advise, and the final decision rests with the PAMCo Board.

A description of what is included in each brand’s TBR headline figure will be published at each data release and made available within the computer bureaux interfaces.

Total Advertising Reach (TAR)

It was planned that PAMCo’s primary measure would be TAR – a measure which would include all the platforms of a brand that it is currently possible to buy as part of an advertising package, therefore giving an overview of total potential reach for a campaign for advertising planning and buying purposes.

However, Comscore’s current inability to provide the ‘respondent-level data’ which would be required to incorporate broken-out estimates for third-party platforms in the PAMCo database means that it is impossible to provide this on a comparative basis for each publication. Also, in some cases the publisher will be able to sell advertising on these platforms, and in other cases not.

There is no immediate prospect of a development solution, however, for any solution to work, each publication must be inserting the appropriate tags, therefore we are proposing the following course of action:

  • Ask all publications to insert the required tags so they are ready to report as soon as a solution is found
  • Press IPSOS/Comscore and UKOM to seek a solution to this issue asap
  • Publishers to feedback to AOP & IAB representatives on IAB to progress
  • Review the situation on a quarterly basis

Challenging Rules on TBR

All final decisions on Total Brand Reach rest with the PAMCo Board.

Given the complex fast changing nature of the digital market and the way in which publishers distribute content it is not practicable for PAMCo to produce definitive rules. The rules set out above are the collective attempt of PAMCo and our stakeholder technical representatives to codify this at the time of PAMCo’s launch.

If stakeholders query how the rules are applied, in the first instance this will be raised at the PAMCo Technical Group to check against these published guidelines. If there is a technical decision this will be relayed to the publisher. It is likely that queries may often be of a commercial nature, so we envisage such queries will be presented to the PAMCo Board for a final decision, including the views of the Technical Group as appropriate.

The PAMCo Board’s decision is binding.