IAB Initiatives Aim to Streamline Ad Ops

  |  October 31, 2008   |  Comments

Best practices documents and a video ad serving template target "operational inefficiencies" in online ad ecosystem.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has introduced five initiatives to improve the efficiency and spur the growth of online advertising.

The initiatives, including best-practices documents and a video ad serving template, were introduced by the IAB at its annual Ad Operations Summit in New York. The IAB called upon the "entire digital ecosystem" to accept and work together on adopting the improvements.

"The important thing to note...is that these are transformational," said IAB Vice President Jeremy Fain. "This is a huge day for the industry because these initiatives will allow us to transform the industry to a scalable media platform."

Fain said the industry has reached a plateau of success that, without the implementation of the IAB initiatives, might be difficult to exceed. "Right now, we are struggling to handle our growth and as our growth continues to accelerate we need to have scalable systems and processes in place," he said. "It's a good problem to have, but we need to solve it as quickly as possible."

Released in beta form, the XML-based solution called E- Business Interactive Standards is designed to "automate the transfer of business order information between advertising agencies and media companies." IAB said the companies involved in testing the solution will work on doing so throughout 2009.

In its Interactive Advertising Workflow Best Practices document, the IAB is making "process recommendations" to agencies and publishers. These, according to the bureau, should improve communication and enhance efficiency of ad campaign operations.

Another XML-based solution, the Digital Video Ad Serving Template (VAST), would standardize communication between digital video players and servers, said the IAB. VAST enables publishers to use ad networks to sell unsold inventory and, by allowing third-party tags, would "reduce friction" with ad buyers and boost the yield of digital video, said the IAB.

Ways to reduce the load-time and otherwise improve the performance of online ads are detailed in Ad Load Performance Best Practices and a standard set of best practices for rich media ads are detailed in the IAB's Best Practices for Rich Media Ads in Asynchronous Ad Environments.

The New York-based IAB has, as members, more than 375 media and technology companies. It says its members are involved in nearly 90 percent of online advertising in the United States.

Fain said a primary goal of a special "re-invention" task force created by the IAB was to ensure that its members and ad agencies worked together on creating the initiatives. The goal was to specifically target "operational frictions" that threatened to hamper online ad industry growth.

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