The creation and implementation of these measurement guidelines are intended to simplify the buying and selling process of interactive advertising. By becoming audited and certified, the billing process excludes discussions about discrepancies in the number of impressions served. The IAB and AAAA strongly recommend that only certified numbers will be used to determine the billing of a campaign. If multiple entities, for example a publisher and an agency, are certified, then the parties need to agree up front as which numbers will be used in the billing process. In order to achieve certification, an agency or publisher must be audited against measurement guidelines that include the 2008 Process Guidelines expansion.
Between 2005 and 2008, Impression Guidelines were developed for display, rich media, and rich internet applications. Click and audience measurement guidelines are currently being developed. This multi-year initiative to develop and implement all the key measurement metrics for the online space is led by industry representatives from IAB member companies. If you are interested in participating in these initiatives, please contact Jeremy Fain at [email protected].
1. What does it mean if a publisher is certified?
The US measurement guidelines include industry-driven certification and auditing recommendations. This recommendation is strongly supported by the AAAA, the ANA and other entities involved in the buying of Interactive media. Once a company is certified, only certified numbers will be used to determine the billing of a campaign. If multiple entities, for example a publisher and an agency, are certified, then the parties need to agree up front as which numbers will be used in the billing process. In order to achieve certification, a publisher must be audited against measurement guidelines that include the 2008 Process Guidelines update.
2. How do publishers begin the auditing and certification process?
The IAB recommends that those companies interested in beginning the auditing and certification process research all the available options by speaking to those companies who have already completed the process. There are a small number of auditing bodies and fees vary depending on which body you choose. A list of auditing bodies can be found here.
3. Who will enforce these Guidelines?
The marketplace, which includes agencies and advertisers, will enforce the guidelines. With wide adoption and implementation, these guidelines act as the standard against which agencies and advertisers buy and pay for online advertising.
4. How do “Spiders & Robots” factor into the auditing process?
One of the main determinants of actual impression counts is the impact that non-human activity may have on the ad serving process. In the past, it is believed that this contributed to wide swings in impression counts.
The IABs MTF made a decision to provide the best filtering of non human activity possible to provide more accurate counts of valuable consumer interaction with the ads. That non-human activity is filtered in two ways: Behavioral filtering (see the guidelines) and using a list of known Spiders & Bots to filter that activity.
The IAB has contracted with ImServices to work with ABCe in Europe to develop a single global Spiders & Bots filtering list. That list includes a comprehensive list of known Spiders & Bots as well as known web browsers. It is overseen by an industry committee that works with ImServices to manage the list and make monthly additions and deletions as needed.
That list and more about Spiders & Bots can be found here.
It is important that you check the IAB site occasionally to confirm that your ad serving technology provider is using the up-to-date list.
This list is also being developed to filter for Spiders & Bots that may impact Page Impressions counts and can therefore be used to filter this activity from a content server.
5. What is the IAB’s role?
As the trade association for the Interactive industry, the IAB remains committed to simplifying the buying and selling of interactive advertising with the creation of standards and guidelines such as these. The IAB is not a certifying body but will relay the status of its members as it relates to their compliance with industry established guidelines.
6. What is the role of other industry groups?
Other industry groups like the AAAA, the ANA, the ARF, MRC and others have all played an integral role in the creation of these guidelines and are in complete support of them. Going forward, members of these groups and the marketplace at large will help ensure adoption and further implementation of these guidelines.