Australian neuroscience marketing firm Neuro Insight has become the first Australian company to win an award from the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF). Neuro Insight's Professor Richard Silberstein accepted the award in New York City at the annual re:Think conference.

The ARF Innovation award category acknowledges individuals (or teams) who have created and proven the impact of new methods based on inventiveness, analytics, and harnessing technology. Twenty-four honorees across six award categories were recognized for their contributions to the excellence and advancement of advertising research.

Marketing magazine spoke Neuro Insight's director of sales and marketing Peter Pynta about their win and where neuroscience in advertising is headed.

"The award was for innovation in research," Pynta explains to Marketing magazine. "We were rewarded for our focus on proving the link between brain activity and consumer behaviour, that is what a marketer really needs to know, it's the bottom line."

Pynta says, while Neuro Insight aren't formal members of the ARF, they have been using the foundation as a platform for their movements in to the US market. Neuro Insight have opened up offices in New York and London, and Pynta says the neuroscience marketing research field has still not settled and lacks clear guidelines.

"There's a number of neuromarketing suppliers; from people that do facial coding, to heart rate, GSR (Galvanic Skin Response), through to brain activity," Pynta explains. "There are a number of players that form the biometric field. It's very difficult to compare someone who does facial coding to someone who does brain activity, yet we're lumped in together.

Pynta hopes a new report by the ARF, which has been a long time in the making, will create transparency in the industry.

"The ARF told us unofficially that we've done very well in terms of our scientific constructs, we want that to come out very clearly, but they look to be taking a very generalised view on the whole field," Pynta says, a little disappointed. "We want as much detail as possible. If a company says they can measure engagement, there's got to be a scientific construct. If we're talking about memory, the field of neuroscience acknowledges there is a centre for memory. And there are a lot of claims being made about measuring emotion. The report is really about sorting out every firm's claim, creating a checklist of the sort of things buyers would want to look for, and we want transparency in that process. The report should sort out what claims can be backed and what can't."

The report is due to be released in June.