Northam Advocates for Vaccine Requirements — Gov. Ralph Northam urged business leaders to follow the public sector in setting COVID-19 vaccination mandates at a Capital Region Business Forum in D.C. yesterday (Thursday). His comments came hours before President Joe Biden announced that all businesses with more than 100 workers must require the vaccine, among other new rules. [Inside NoVA]
Feds Use Reston Company’s Data Against Facebook — The Federal Trade Commission revealed user data on Wednesday (Sept. 8) that officials said supports their antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, which argues that the social media company has a monopoly. The FTC cited data from Reston-based market research firm Comscore that it says Facebook uses to prepare materials for CEO Mark Zuckerberg. [Bloomberg]
Tephra Sculpture Celebration Kicks off Art Festival — The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival starts today (Friday) with a long-awaited celebration of artist Sue Wrbican’s surrealist-inspired Buoyant Force sculpture in Reston Town Square Park. Now in its 30th year, the festival will continue through the weekend with live performances and more than 200 artists present to share and sell their work. [Tephra ICA]
Smithsonian Creates Archive of 9/11 Memories — “The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is gathering written and recorded memories of 9/11 for the 20th anniversary of the attacks. You can submit your written memories, photos, or a video to the Smithsonian’s ‘9-11: An Evolving Legacy’ website. You can also read what has been submitted so far.” [DCist]
Comscore to Launch New Movie Measurement Solution — The Reston-based company is launching Comscore Movies Everywhere, a cross-screen measurement tool that allows companies to track box office movies performance across all platforms. [Comscore]
Investment Firm Invests in Reston Tech Startup — ‘New York City-based Tracker Capital Management LLC announced Monday that one of its affiliates has acquired a controlling interest in Reston-based tech startup Presage Security. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.’ [Virginia Business Monthly]
Reston Association Seeks to Fill Board Vacancies — The association is seeking to fill new vacancies on its Design Review Board. An application is available online. [Reston Today]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Playa Bowls Brings Taste of Jersey Shore to Reston — “Robert Giuliani started Playa Bowls in 2014 on the Jersey Shore, as a surf-themed restaurant offering healthy food for people on the go.” [Reston Patch]
Herndon Police Arrest Man in Connection with Child Pornography Charges — “After an investigation in conjunction with the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, Zoubir Chenini. 39, of Annandale, VA, was arrested by Herndon Police Department on one felony count of possession of child pornography, nine felony counts of 2nd/subsequent possession of child pornography, and five felony counts of distribution of child pornography.”[HPD]
CEO of Reston-based Company Lays Out Five-Year-Plan for Embattled Firm — “For years, comScore was distracted by prolonged and pricey internal investigations and high-cost debt. Now, at long last, CEO Bill Livek said he can focus on its future.“ [Washington Business Journal]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Flu Shots Available at Giant Food Stores in Reston — “Giant Food announced Monday flu shots are available at in-store pharmacies, including locations in the Reston area. The flu vaccines are administered by Giant pharmacists and do not require an appointment.” [Reston Patch]
County Fire Chief Selected for Award — “Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Fire Chief John Butler has been selected as a recipient of the 2020 International Association of Fire Chiefs President’s Awards of Recognition.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]
Underwhelming Response to Sale of Comscore — “ComScore, based at Reston Town Center, has been pursuing a sale since late 2019. Comscore Inc.’s attempt to sell itself has hit some snags — its potential suitors’ offers thus far have been underwhelming, it said in new Securities and Exchange Commission filings.” [Washington Business Journal]
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A Reston based global company is using data to try and track COVID-19 discussion around the world.
Comscore, headquartered at 11950 Democracy Drive, helps clients “evaluate media across platforms” to boost audience engagement, according to its website. Major clients for the company include Pepsi and Oracle.
The company recently expanded its efforts to provide “insights” into COVID-19.
Now that people are staying home, the company announced that as of today (Tuesday, March 24,) data use by gaming consoles is up 48% along with a 44% data use rise by in-home speakers.
When it comes to media consumption, roughly 3.2 million people checked governmental websites including the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control. Between March 9115, roughly 24.4 million people logged on to these websites. That’s over a 670% increase from the first few days of January, according to Comscore.
Due to recent changes in commerce, Comscore also noticed changes in other industries like retail and manufacturing.
“In looking at total digital visits to an aggregate of Amazon, Walmart and Target’s sites, we saw 779 million visits the week of March 9-15,” the company’s website said.
According to a blog recently released by Comscore, studies show that people are turning to local news when they face uncertainty during the pandemic.
“We need local news in times of crisis to learn about the changes impacting our daily lives,” Rachel Cooper-Blank, the author and company’s lead account manager, wrote in the blog.
Going forward, it seems that Comscore will continue to track changes to the economy and people’s habits during the pandemic.
Reston Now reached out to Comscore for comment and is awaiting a response.
Photo via Comscore/Facebook
Reston Baker Builds Granola Empire — Reston resident Dania Abimourched recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of her business, Dano’s Granola. [Reston Patch]
Virginia Heads Toward Peer-to-Peer Auto Rental Law — “Virginia lawmakers are considering a bill that would establish rules for peer-to-peer car rentals, in which a car owner could rent a vehicle to a stranger, for a fee. Unlike traditional car rental companies that monopolize airport rentals, and established ride-sharing companies that enable a driver to rent a car by the hour, in peer-to-peer rentals, the car owner lists a vehicle for rent in an online, searchable marketplace.” [WTOP]
Reston-based Company Signs with CBS — Comscore, a digital audience measurement firm, signed a multi-year renewal with all 27 local television stations owned by CBS. [Potomac Tech Wire]
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Comscore, a media measurement and analytics firm headquartered in Reston Town Center, and its former CEO Serge Matta have been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for defrauding investors and making false and misleading statements about the company’s performance.
In a Tuesday release, the SEC stated that Comscore and Mata agreed to pay $5.7 million in penalties. Matta will also reimburse Comscore $2.1 million.
“As the SEC orders find, Comscore and its former CEO manipulated the accounting for non-monetary and other transactions in an effort to chase revenue targets and deceive investors about the performance of Comscore’s business,” said Melissa R. Hodgman, Associate Director in the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “We will continue to hold issuers and executives accountable for such serious breaches of their fundamental duty to make accurate disclosures to the investing public while giving appropriate credit for a company’s prompt remedial acts and cooperation.”
The investigation revealed that the company — which measures audience engagement across different platforms — overstated revenue by roughly $50 million. Between February 2014 and February 2016, the company attempted to increase its reported revenue by exchanging data sets with another party by inflating revenue, according to the release.
The SEC also said Comscore and Matta create an “illusion of smooth and steady growth in Comscore’s business” by making false and misleading public disclosures about the company’s customer base and products. Specifically, the SEC found that Matta lied to the company’s internal accountant and external audit firm, allowing the company to artificially exceeds its analysis’ revenue target in seven consecutive quarters.
The last few months have been rocky for the media measurement firm. In April, the Wall Street Journal reported the company’s chief executive, Bryan Wiener, left the company after less than a year due to disagreements over the board’s execution of the company’s strategy.
Comscore is located in the heart of Reston Town Center at 11950 Democracy Drive.
Image via Google Maps