Monday, February 23, 2009
IAB Issues Audience Reach Measurement Guidelines; Standardizes Key Industry Metrics

Consensus-Based Initiative Enhances Accuracy for Interactive Advertising

ORLANDO, FLORIDA (February 23, 2009) –The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today announced the release of the final version of its Audience Reach Measurement Guidelines at its Annual Leadership Meeting, Ecosystem 2.0: Brands Battle Back, in Orlando, Florida. These guidelines provide clear, consistent definitions of key metrics and create a single standard for measuring Web audience sizes. The guidelines are the result of a major industry-wide initiative led by the IAB and included the participation of publishers, agencies and auditing organizations.

These new guidelines:

  • Define key industry metrics such as unique users, unique cookies, unique browsers, visits and time spent.
  • Establish a framework for all measurement providers to have their methodologies audited, providing greater certainty for the industry.
  • Foster greater accuracy and reliability of all forms of online audience measurement, whether based on server data, online panels or user registration.

Marketers, agencies and online publishers rely on audience metrics reported by vendors that use a variety of methodologies. Transparency into these methodologies and clear definitions of commonly used terms are critical to the ongoing growth of interactive media as marketers increase their investment in interactive media.

“Establishing a broad industry consensus in favor of these guidelines is critical to ensuring that they gain traction in the marketplace,” said Joe Laszlo, Director of Research at the IAB. “As providers of measurement data adopt the guidelines, marketers can be increasingly confident they are planning their campaigns based on sound, reliable data.”

"Effective interactive advertising campaigns rely on accurate audience measurement," said Kate Downey, director of audience analytics and insights, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network. "These guidelines provide accountability in audience measurement for marketers, agencies and other industry stakeholders."

“By issuing these guidelines, the IAB has given measurement organizations across the industry a set of rigorous and consistent guidelines to help ensure standardized measurements of unique cookies, unique devices, or unique users,” said George Ivie, CEO and Executive Director of the Media Rating Council (MRC). “This is an important and commendable step towards full accountability.”

To review the complete guidelines, please go to www.iab.net/audiencemeasurement.

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.

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