Sunday, February 22, 2009
IAB and 4A’S Announce New Agreements to Simplify Interactive Advertising Operations

Joint Task Force Devises Solutions That Streamline and Automate Workflow for Buying, Selling, and Delivering Interactive Media

ORLANDO, FLORIDA (February 22, 2009) — The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) today announced a set of ground-breaking agreements on voluntary business process standards which, if adopted by agencies and publishers, will significantly reduce cost and complexity in the planning and buying of interactive advertising. The announcement was made at the IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting, Ecosystem 2.0: Brands Battle Back, in Orlando, Florida.

The agreements—which seek to standardize processes, documents, and systems used to buy and sell interactive advertising, and to eliminate the time and expense otherwise necessary to reconcile billing discrepancies—were negotiated during a year-long series of meetings by the Interactive Reinvention Task Force, a group of 17 advertising and publishing executives. The task force was led by David Cohen, Executive Vice President, US Director of Digital Communications for Universal McCann, Chairperson of the 4A’s Digital Marketing Committee, and the agency lead of the Interactive Reinvention Task Force, and by Zack Rogers, VP of Revenue Operations, CBS Interactive and the Publisher Lead of the Reinvention Task Force.

Among the major agreements reached by the joint 4A’s/IAB group are:

  • Standardization of basic business documents, including RFPs, advertising proposals and insertion orders, and invoices
  • The design of a solution for exchanging impression data between publishers and third-party ad servers in order to detect and fix discrepancies in near real-time
  • Revising and improving the current Standard Terms and Conditions document created in 2002 in order to reflect current operational and marketplace environment.

“Because of incompatible business processes and systems, agencies and publishers together spend tens of millions of dollars a year unnecessarily on cleaning up messes that don’t need to be there,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the IAB. “These historic agreements will contribute significantly to the bottom lines of both our associations’ member companies.”

“At a time when agencies and media companies are evolving the nature of their relationships and their businesses, the Interactive Reinvention Task Force is a critical step in improving the most fundamental elements of how we operate,” said Nancy Hill, President and CEO of the 4A’s. “These solutions will help drive revenue and allow all partners to more effectively scale operations.”

“The collaboration between publishers and agencies on the Interactive Reinvention Task Force has enabled us to accelerate the process by which these standards are implemented across the digital ecosystem,” said Zack Rogers.

“We are pleased at the progress we have made to date on the Interactive Reinvention initiative,” said David Cohen. “Through an impression exchange solution and consistent nomenclature for RFPs, insertion orders and invoices we believe that we have taken an important first step towards achieving that goal.  Our attention will now turn to widespread adoption of these standards and working through the next iteration of industry standard Terms & Conditions.”

The 4A’s and the IAB will soon launch a program—including a “road show”—to educate agencies and publishers about the new business standards and to encourage their adoption.

About the IAB:
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 400 leading media and technology companies who are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C.  For more information, please visit www.iab.net.

About the 4A’s
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 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 visit our Web site at www.aaaa.org.

IAB Media Contact:
Marla Aaron
Marketing Communications Director
212.380.4714
[email protected]

4A’s Media Contact:
Kipp Cheng
Senior Vice President, Communications
212.850-0720
[email protected]