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Richard Zackon

Richard Zackon

Topic Looking at users looking at screens: reconstructing advertising impressions

In the midst of accelerating change in technology, the advertising-media marketplace still operates on an audience model not much different from the one developed for magazines over a century ago.  Advertisers purchase ads based upon the size of an audience and estimate their number of “impressions” by counting eyeballs. Each medium defines and counts impressions in its own way, referring to the audience as readers, listeners, viewers, and users. Growing concern for cross-platform measurement calls for a rethinking of what we are counting when we aggregate impressions.

Recognizing this pivotal moment in media evolution, we will construct what we mean by impressions and explore some contributions the UX research community can make to this timely dialogue.


Richard Zackon has enjoyed a varied career in media since joining ad agency Doyle Dane Bernbach forty years ago. He has expertise in print, broadcast, cable, and digital audiences and consults for and coaches professional researchers. Since 2005, he has facilitated the Council for Research Excellence, a think-tank of Nielsen’s largest clients dedicated to improving audience measurement. He has developed and teaches an intensive program in Audience Measurement at NYU’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies. He holds degrees from Yale, Stanford, and Fordham School of Law.