Thursday, October 28, 2004
Leading Global Advertising Industry Organizations Endorse Interactive Advertising Campaign Measurement Guidelines

First-Ever Global Media Measurement Guidelines Agreed-on by All Key Industry Bodies Establishes Detailed Definition for Measuring Online Ad Impressions

NEW YORK, NY (November 15, 2004) Today, a global consortium of leading bodies within the advertising agency, advertiser, media and research disciplines issued a new detailed definition and standard for global online ad impression measurement. This initiative marks the first time any medium has launched a global measurement standard that has been accepted by all the key industry stakeholder organizations. Other media vehicles (such as television, radio and magazines) use different measuring techniques depending on country and region. For the United States, the guidelines also include industry-driven certification and auditing recommendations. Already underway in the United States, wide implementation of the guidelines is expected by the end of 2005.

The guidelines have the support of almost all major online publishers, as well as approximately 35 out of the 37 major online advertising server technologies worldwide. The guidelines are intended to hasten the growth of Internet advertising spending by simplifying the buying and selling process for advertisers, marketers and publishers. Among other key points, the guidelines offer a detailed definition for counting an ad impression, which is a critical component in establishing consistent and accurate online advertising measurements across publishers and ad serving technologies.

The new guidelines were developed after extensive research and testing on all the relevant variables for ad impression measurement. The three key points of the new recommendations are: 1) Ad-impression counting that is conducted from the “client-side” as opposed to “server-side” (impression is counted once the browser receives the creative asset), 2) Consistent elimination of non-human activity counting (defines what is a person versus spiders and robots) and 3) Consistent cache busting.

In addition to the ad-impression guidelines, the report recommends third-party independent auditing and certification guidelines (U.S. only) for all ad-serving applications used in the buying and selling process. The certification recommendation is for ad impressions only and is intended to increase confidence of marketers in the consistent implementation of the standard.

“These guidelines demonstrate our continued commitment to being the most accountable ad medium. In just 10 short years we rocketed forward by offering marketers a whole new experience for measuring ad campaigns. This initiative improves on that opportunity by delivering not just a uniform measurement standard, but one that travels across borders,” said Greg Stuart, president and CEO, IAB. “All of the companies involved in this landmark initiative have been party to history in the making for ad measurement.”

A global mix of organizations worked for several months to create the cross-border guidelines and include:

  • ABC Electronic
  • Advertising Research Foundation (ARF)
  • American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA)
  • Asia Digital Marketing Association (ADMA)
  • Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
  • ESOMAR – World Association of Research Professionals
  • European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA)
  • European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA)
  • IFABC
  • IAB Europe (including UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Finland, Belgium and Ireland)
  • Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB – U.S.)
  • Interactive Advertising Bureau – Argentina
  • Interactive Advertising Bureau – Brazil
  • The Media Rating Council (MRC)
  • World Federation of Advertisers (WFA)

"We are very pleased to announce this significant milestone in campaign measurement guidelines, which enables publishers to provide further transparency into the interactive medium and establish consistency for the marketplace," said Todd Teresi, vice president of sales operations, Yahoo! Inc. and IAB measurement task force chairman. "The work of these organizations now allows the marketing community to focus on using the Internet to create the most innovative campaigns possible."

“As online advertising increasingly becomes a basic component to well-rounded media plans, these standards will undoubtedly help advertisers and agencies alike effectively make the case for the interactive medium,” said O. Burtch Drake, president and CEO, AAAA.

“In a climate where advertisers are calling for greater accountability across all media, this initiative is a welcome step forward. It makes online advertising a more attractive prospect for advertisers worldwide,”

Stephan Loerke, managing director, World Federation of Advertisers.

“Today, the entire advertising community is under pressure to justify their measurement standards in one way or another. The interactive industry is to be commended for their efforts to break through the clutter and offer reliable data to its customers,” Fredrik Nauckhoff, President, ESOMAR – The World Association of Research Professionals.

“The internet industry is leaping enthusiastically at the challenges of building global standards. These are landmark moments in a truly ground breaking medium,” Danny Meadows-Klue, President, IAB Europe.

For the United States, the new guidelines are a follow-up to initial parameters established in January 2002 by the IAB, the MRC, and the ARF, with support from the AAAA and the ANA.

The effort to produce such guidelines on a global scale has been facilitated by ESOMAR, IFABC and the ARF.

About IAB
Founded in 1996, the IAB-US represents leading interactive companies that are actively engaged in, and support the sale of interactive advertising. IAB members are responsible for selling more than 86 percent of online advertising in the United States. IAB member companies include: AOL, CNET Networks, DoubleClick, Forbes.net, MSN, Google, Overture, The Walt Disney Internet Group, Yahoo! and more than 190 others. On behalf of its members, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices, fields interactive effectiveness research and educates the advertising industry regarding the use of interactive advertising. For more information on the IAB please visit www.iab.net. For more information about European IABs, please visit www.IABuk.net and www.IABEurope.ws

About the AAAA
The American Association of Advertising Agencies is the national trade association of the advertising agency business. The 1,196 member agency offices it serves in the United States employ 65,000 people, offer a wide range of marketing-communications services, and place more than 80 percent of all national advertising. The management-oriented association helps its members build their businesses, and acts as the industry’s spokesman with government, media, and the public sector. For more information about the AAAA, visit www.aaaa.org.

About ESOMAR
ESOMAR's mission is to promote the use of Opinion and Market Research for improving decision making in business and society world-wide. Founded in 1948, ESOMAR unites 4000 members in 100 countries, both users and providers of opinion and marketing research. The Society facilitates the exchange of experiences between clients and providers of research in order to optimize the integration of research results into the decision making process.

About WFA
The World Federation of Advertisers is the voice of advertisers worldwide representing some 90% of global ad spend - some US$ 400 billion ad spend per annum - through a unique, global network: 46 national advertiser associations and numerous multi-national corporate members. Through them, WFA represents more than 10,000 businesses operating in a broad spectrum of sectors at national, regional and global levels.

Its mission is two-fold: Firstly, it is committed to defending the freedom to advertise responsibly. Secondly, the work of the WFA aims to create a media environment which stimulates maximum effectiveness of ad spend and favours commercial transparency with agencies and consultancies.

Contacts:
Emily Kutner – IAB
+1-212-949-2432
[email protected]

Will Gilroy - WFA
Tel: +32 (0)2 502 57 40
[email protected]

Kipp Cheng – AAAA
+1-212-850-0720
[email protected]

Rocío Corrales – ESOMAR
+31-20-664 2141
[email protected]

Danny Meadows-Klue – IAB Europe
+44(0)20 7886 8282
[email protected]