For those who have complained about the lack of standards and universally accepted practices in the neuromarketing industry, the Advertising Research Foundation is launching a new initiative:

Biometric and neurological methods—like fMRI, EEG, and facial coding— have become increasingly popular in media and marketing research, but to date, no major validation studies have been conducted to properly assess neuroscience as it applies to media and advertising response. Different vendors use different techniques, and sometimes it’s unclear what science is being used, whether science is being applied soundly, and whether biometric measures are even appropriate to the problem being addressed.

Engagement 3: NeuroStandards Collaboration provides an opportunity to add competitive transparency to the growing landscape of ‘neuro-suppliers.’ The project presents an open invitation to all vendors in the neuroscience space to submit their work for critical peer scrutiny. Comparisons will be drawn across methods with the intention of identifying emerging consensus and moving toward establishing standards for biometric research…

Participating Neuro-Suppliers: Innerscope, Mindlab International, MSW/LAB, NeuroCompass, Neuro Insight, Neurosense, Sands Research, and Sensory Logic.

Incorporating a session called the Neurotrial, this effort will kick off on September 28, 2010 in New York: NeuroStandards: The Next Wave in Advertising.

I’m pleased to see this initiative getting off the ground. (It’s just a bit worrisome, though, that the organization taking responsibility for evaluating the most technical form of market research is still using 1990s-era frames on its website. As you navigate the site, watch the address bar. It never changes. Haven’t seen one of those in years, not counting terrible Flash sites.)

The study does have some big-name sponsors: General Motors, Clorox, Hershey’s, American Express, MillerCoors, Campbell Soup, Chase, NBC, ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, and MTV Networks.
Images via Shutterstock

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