Notifying Consumers of the Settlement Isn’t the “Easy Part”
A common misconception of class action settlements is that notifying consumers of the settlement is the “easy part,” when in fact, it is one of the hardest things to get right. Alerting the correct class members while simultaneously reducing fraud can be a challenge, and if not done correctly, it can cause the court to decline the settlement – forcing the defendant to start over and wasting valuable time and money.
Working with a third-party administrator (TPA) who has a qualified media expert with a long, successful track record of approved notice programs helps prevent these problems, and finding the right third-party administrator can be key to success. Before deciding on a TPA, consider these tips:
- Avoid TPAs that attempt to “white-label” expertise.
- Ask the right questions to save you a big headache: Be sure to find out if the media person the TPA works with is in-house, or if they use an outside advertising agency.
- Vet your experts and look for concrete experience in the media industry. Find out if the expert has ever had their opinion discounted – if they have, this may be a red flag.
- Make sure the media plan is transparent and provides a quantifiable validation basis for all class member reach assumptions.
To ensure that the TPA you choose has a thorough media plan, avoid oversimplification. For example, a plan using USA Today and a few online impressions claiming to reach 70 percent of a class at very low cost, may sound too good to be true – because it is. Here’s a list of things you will want to check, with regards to the TPA’s media plan:
- Make sure the media expert discloses all online, mobile and social media that will be used.
- Have them fully describe the media target that is being measured, and be sure to watch out for campaign frequency caps of 1x or 3x. This is not an accepted approach, as it artificially inflates reach, leads to inaccurate reporting for the courts, and in reality, is eroded by cookie deletion, bots and viewability issues. This affects due process, as class members don’t have a reasonable opportunity to see the notice.
- Make sure your media expert uses and cites best-in-class media measurement and validation tools such as comScore, Nielsen and GfK Mediamark Research and Intelligence.
The most important thing your company can do is protect their brand. After you’ve gone through the above points with your potential TPA, make sure you find out if their media expert employs measures for brand safety, and monitors and adjusts for bots, ad fraud and viewability – this could save your company’s reputation in the long run.