Monday, February 22, 2010
IAB Networks & Exchanges Committee Develops Guidelines and Proposes Compliance Program

“Networks & Exchanges Quality Assurance Guidelines” Provide Marketers and Agencies with Greater Brand Safety and Trust

CARLSBAD, CA (February 22, 2010) — In a move that standardizes the information networks and exchanges provide to advertisers, enhances buyer control over placement and context, and builds brand safety, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today released “Networks & Exchanges Quality Assurance Guidelines” for public comment. These guidelines provide full understanding of the sources and types of inventory offered, and the context and content surrounding advertising. The IAB announced these guidelines at its third Annual Leadership Meeting, Ecosystem 2.0: Revenue the Next Wave, in Carlsbad, California, where leaders across the digital media landscape have converged to address the most critical issues facing the industry.

“Networks & Exchanges Quality Assurance Guidelines” outline concrete measures that will allow for standardizing the buying and selling of advertising inventory in networks and exchanges and provide greater brand safety assurances to marketers and agencies. The guidelines: 

  • Allow for transparency of inventory sources, publisher relationships, content levels and ad placement details
  • Provide universally defined content categories for advertisers
  • Require that networks and exchanges rate content for audience segments
  • Outline data disclosure terms for off-site behavioral targeting and third-party data
  • Provide for mandatory IAB training of appointed compliance officers in each certified network or exchange
  • Include a list of terms and definitions for targeting and data that will help eliminate confusion

“These guidelines are the first of their kind in the U.S., and we believe they will go a long way to building more marketplace trust,” said David J. Moore, Chairman and Founder, 24/7 Real Media, and Chairman of the Board of the IAB. “Networks and ad exchanges have transformed how advertisers can deliver targeted messaging to consumers and these guidelines further secure the promise of this extraordinary marketing resource.”

“‘The Networks & Exchanges Quality Assurance Guidelines’ represent a watershed moment in the ability of the marketplace to fully leverage the value of inventory placed on networks and exchanges. For the first time, there are definitions, standards and practices that will yield significant choice and brand safety when buying on networks and exchanges,” said Sherrill Mane, SVP, Industry Services, IAB. “Advertisers will have a high degree of confidence that consumers will get the right messages within the right environments and that’s what interactive media is all about.”

“The IAB is continuing the process of improving transparency and accountability through issuing these Network and Exchange Guidelines,” said George Ivie, CEO and Executive Director of the Media Rating Council.  “The self-certification program outlined in the Guidelines represents a step forward in ensuring an appropriate contextual understanding surrounding network/exchange advertising, patterned after examples of existing processes for similar situations such as the Safe Harbor Program maintained by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The IAB has expanded upon these existing examples by requiring certain self-certification training and periodic testing which will help provide assurance to advertising buyers and their Network and Exchange partners.”

The public comment period for the guidelines will remain open until Friday, March 26, 2010.

About the IAB’s Networks & Exchanges Committee:
The IAB Networks and Exchanges Committee is comprised of senior leaders of ad networks and ad exchanges that are general member companies. The committee is dedicated to furthering the interests of ad networks and ad exchanges in today's complex ad marketplace. Committee objectives are to foster the highest standards of professionalism and accountability in relationships with publishers, advertisers and the agency community, to develop programs that enable revenue growth, and to create best practices that protect consumers and the industry. A full list of Committee member companies can be found at:
http://www.iab.net/networks_and_exchanges_committee

“Networks & Exchanges Quality Assurance Guidelines” and public comment survey can be found on the IAB website at: http://www.iab.net/ne_guidelines

About the IAB:
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 460 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.

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