Norton Outdoor Advertising

DECs No More

TAB Out of Home Ratings are the New Currency


Dear Partners,

As of January 1, 2013, the TAB OOH Ratings are the official ratings currency of the OOH industry. DECs are no longer audited or supported by the TAB. Norton Outdoor Advertising has been a leader in this evolution throughout its entirety, including membership on the TAB Board of Directors, and we are excited to better serve the needs of our advertisers through the implementation of this ratings currency.

Please review the article below written by Joseph Philport, president of the Traffic Audit Bureau, which discusses this advancement in Out of Home ratings. 

Mike Norton
Norton Outdoor Advertising


TAB Exits DEC Business for OOH Ratings

By Joe Philport, President & CEO, TAB

As an old song once said, breaking up is hard to do. This rings especially true for some people in the OOH industry who have long been accustomed to using showings and DECs when it comes to the buying and selling of media. Last month, the TAB Board of Directors took the bold step of adopting a Code of Best Practice to help transition its members - in fact the whole industry - away from the use of DECs to an exclusive use of TAB Out of Home Ratings (formerly known as EYES ON).TAB OOH Ratings

Effective with the January 2013 release of TAB OOH Ratings, our organization will no longer produce or support our members' use of DECs. This decision was not made in haste - quite the contrary. It is the culmination of a lengthy process that has seen OOH make a meaningful leap from legacy practices to a far more valuable, accountable standard that finally gives us a seat at the media planning table. Taking this step will help eliminate any confusion that may still exist and move our industry in a unified direction.

Establishing a Code of Best Practice demonstrates just how serious our mem­bers are in their commitment to shifting away from the DEC paradigm as quickly and smoothly as possible. This change applies to all formats measured by TAB.

As part of this new code:

• For those formats measured by TAB OOH Ratings, all buyers and sellers who are members of TAB pledge to cease using DECs in all of their business practices at the earliest possible time.
• TAB member companies will com­municate their commitment to use TAB OOH Ratings and the benefits of the standard use of those ratings to all parties with whom they conduct business.
• TAB member companies commit to educating their employees and up­dating their systems and processes to ensure availability and proper use of ratings in their business processes.

View the TAB Member Code of Practice here.

We know that legacy DECs have never been widely ac­cepted by the advertising community. That is why it is so critical that the entire industry embrace the standard use of TAB OOH Ratings. We have already seen these ratings used by hundreds of media plan­ners throughout the country. The sooner our entire industry transitions to the con­sistent use of these ratings, the sooner more advertisers will truly value OOH as an audience-driven medium.

Yes, for some, breaking up is hard to do. It is not always easy; nobody ever said it would be. However, leaving DECs behind for good is a necessary next step, one that will bring us that much closer to our goal of a universal standard of measure­ment we can all benefit from.

TAB has put together talking points to help in discussion with clients and staff. View the first in a series of TAB OOH Ratings Talking points here.

Should you have any questions, com­ments, or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly at Or call TAB at (212) 972-8075.

You can also visit to learn more about TAB OOH Ratings.

Norton Outdoor Advertising is Cincinnati's family owned and operated outdoor advertising company. In business since 1949, Norton offers more than 900 boards in the market to satisfy your advertising plan, including Junior Posters, Posters, bulletins, trivisions and a network of digital displays. For more information, visit



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