PLEASE NOTE: FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS DOCUMENT UPDATED OCTOBER 2011
IES is an industry-wide standard mechanism designed to create immediate awareness and transparency around discrepancies. It helps publishers and advertisers detect and resolve differences early in the life of a digital campaign, resulting in the improved efficiency and accuracy, foundational to other industry efforts around e-business (electronic ordering, change management and invoicing), cross-platform measurement consistency and asset identification.
Synopsis & Goals
The Impression Exchange Solution (IES) is an important component of the IAB’s broader eBusiness initiative. Companies employing IES will reduce operational overhead associated with discrepancy reconciliation—an important first step to implementing electronic invoicing. Using IES, lengthy invoicing and payment processes will be reduced, resulting in improved, on-time revenue collection and reduced operational costs.
The IES Implementation Guidelines specifies the minimum functional requirements necessary for an automated daily exchange of third-party impression and click data between buy-side and sell-side systems.
Description of Problem
Interactive advertising poses particular count reconciliation challenges, due to the different ways that agency third-party ad servers (TPAS) and publisher ad servers manage campaign data. Discrepancies arise because advertisers and publishers use different systems to count impressions and clicks. This can result in a mismatching of aggregated line items between the agency TPAS and the publisher.
Today, discrepancy reconciliation between agencies and publishers is an expensive and burdensome manual process. This process necessitates intensive, post-delivery, line-item-level forensic research and dispute resolution, which often leads to delayed invoicing and payment.
The Impression Exchange Implementation Guidelines establish a common set of procedures that allow publishers to automatically retrieve daily count statistics from each agency’s TPAS. Data is aggregated at the level of a unique publisher identifier, which is recorded and stored at the TPAS.
Publishers compare data retrieved from the TPAS with their own internal counts. They use their own publisher ID, which is returned with the data. Systems can be configured to alert the parties of potential discrepancies that occur daily, thereby enabling corrective actions to be enacted between parties while the campaign is still in flight.
Finally, publishers deliver invoices that are based on an accurate representation of agency impression/click counts. Agencies are able to verify the counts and the invoice amount without drawn-out, manual reconciliation processes. The end result is a streamlined operational process, resulting in more timely payments.