Tuesday, December 4, 2001

New York, NY - December 4, 2001 - The Interactive Advertising Bureau's new Ad Measurement guidelines will be issued before the end of the year, IAB President & CEO Greg Stuart announced today at the IAB's Annual Membership meeting in New York City.

"Addressing measurement is perhaps the most crucial initiative for the IAB at this time," noted Stuart. "Before the end of the year we will present the industry with a set of guidelines which, when adopted, will enable the industry to move forward in unison, and provide viable data for all parties concerned."

Four months ago, the IAB commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct a process audit of eleven leading sites, portals and networks to determine how these companies actually arrived at their measurement numbers. Under the aegis of an Executive Committee to set the direction of the project and monitor the progress, a task force headed by George Ivie, CEO of the Media Rating Council, Inc., and also including representatives of the Advertising Research Foundation and ABCi, was formed to develop industry guidelines on how to measure basic metrics, identify the potential causes for over or under counting, and encourage the adoption of the resultant guidelines and best practices.

"I am very happy with how these guidelines have worked out so far," said George Ivie. "The cooperation of the participants -- the IAB, the eleven participating media companies, PwC, the ARF, ABCi and the MRC -- has made this Phase 1 document very strong. The discipline driven by strong filtration procedures, the standardization of the measurement metrics, disclosure and auditing specifics will improve the consistency and accuracy of Internet site and ad-server measurements, providing the enhanced confidence advertisers and agencies need. Hopefully these guidelines will eventually reduce agency reconciliation time also, which is an added benefit."

An initial finding that has already been addressed by the IAB is that many of the processes and procedures are referenced differently by the study participants. To address this issue, the IAB issued the IAB Glossary of Interactive Advertising Terms, containing technical, measurement and business terms, amassed with the assistance of a broad base of expert advisors from advertising agencies, technology providers, publishers and research companies. The Glossary can be found on the IAB site at www.iab.net.

Another early finding was that when spider and robot activity occurs on a computer programmed to conduct continuous content searches on specific Web pages, they can be perhaps the largest single contributors to inaccurate measurement. Addressing that issue, the IAB has forged an agreement with ABCi, an industry leader in the online third party verification arena, for ABCi to create and maintain the ABCi/IAB master industry list of spiders and robots which is updated monthly.

About the IAB

Founded in 1996, the IAB is the industry's leading interactive advertising association. Its activities include evaluating and recommending guidelines and best practices, fielding research to document the effectiveness of interactive media, and educating the advertising industry about the use of interactive advertising and marketing. Membership includes companies that are actively engaged in the sale of interactive advertising and marketing.


Marla Nitke IAB
[email protected]