IAB Wants Audit of Ad Verification Systems

  |  November 3, 2011   |  Comments

Industry group worked with the Media Rating Council to craft ad verification guidelines.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau worked with the Media Rating Council to craft ad verification guidelines in the hopes of limiting discrepancies between ad measurement and ad verification reports.

As more agencies and advertisers employ ad verification technologies to ensure ads appear on intended sites and reach the targeted audience, the IAB wants to standardize verification reporting. The organization is looking for public comments on the guidelines to be submitted by December.

"The MRC came to us and said there are companies that do verification services and want to be audited, and we don't have any way of auditing because we don't have any criteria," said Steve Sullivan, VP digital supply chain solutions for the IAB. Sullivan said ad verification companies want the MRC stamp of approval on their reporting data, while already MRC-accredited measurement firms want verification services to undergo the MRC scrutiny their own methodologies have been subject to.

"The need arose for companies doing ad verification to be audited in a similar way to companies that already had their counts audited," said Sullivan. ComScore and Nielsen have been audited by the MRC.

The proposed Guidelines for the Conduct of Ad Verification - developed to provide the MRC with criteria for auditing - call for standards for ad blocking, ad serving in iframes, and geotargeting.

Ad blocking, which prevents ads from being served in inappropriate content, should be performed at the ad server level, according to the proposed guidelines. In some cases, the ad blocking occurs at the ad verification level, resulting in differences in the number of impressions reported by the ad server and the verification system.

The guidelines also call for standards for nested iframes. The problem is that iframes serve content and ads from domains other than the one a publisher site is on. Sites with iframes that employ ad verification systems may not have the full picture of which ads are showing up on their sites.

Third party geotargeting firms also provide data that may differ from that of ad verification services. The IAB hopes the guidelines reduce those discrepancies, or at least give advertisers a standardized approximation of what an acceptable discrepancy might be. For instance, geotargeting company data might show that 20 IP addresses exist in a given city, while an ad verification service might show 30. The result is that the ad verification system would report the ads didn't reach all of the intended target audience.

The IAB hopes that an MRC audit at least would reveal what an expected discrepancy should be when targeting certain locales. For example, when targeting Minneapolis, advertisers would know ahead of time that the ad verification system and geotargeting systems are always off around 20 percent.

The proposed guidelines were created over a period of around six months by an IAB working group including ad verification firms, publishers, and ad agencies.

ClickZ Live Toronto On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!

ClickZ Live San Francisco Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Media newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

UPCOMING TRAINING

Featured White Papers

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.

Paid Search in the Mobile Era

Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.

Jobs

    • Copywriting & SEO Specialist
      Copywriting & SEO Specialist (HeBS Digital) - NEW YORKJOB DESCRIPTION     JOB TITLE:         ...
    • SEO Specialist
      SEO Specialist (NJM Insurance Group) - West TrentonNew Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company is an industry leader among its peers and the largest...
    • Paid Search / Search Engine Marketing (SEM, PPC) Specialist
      Paid Search / Search Engine Marketing (SEM, PPC) Specialist (HeBS Digital) - New York  JOB TITLE:        ...