IAB Ad Network Guidelines: Providing Greater Brand Safety

We have all witnessed the ad network space and the overall non-reserved inventory landscape become increasingly complex. During the past 18 months, changes to our industry have come from the continued proliferation of ad networks, growth in data usage, the emergence of exchange models, as well as increased technology offerings including demand-side and supply-side solutions.

While these innovations are designed to benefit the end client, it has led to confusion – particularly during a time when advertisers and agencies are seeking transparency, brand safety, quality, and control.

As a result, clients have had growing concerns when it comes to buying inventory through networks and exchanges. They often wonder: “How will my brand be protected? Where will my campaign really run? How do I make sense of the various targeting capabilities and data sources?”

In light of these concerns, the IAB has released the “Networks & Exchanges Quality Assurance Guidelines.” The guidelines are intended to provide increased simplicity, transparency, and control for the buying community (i.e., marketers, agencies, and publishers). Based on feedback from members of this community, I’m confident that the implementation of these guidelines will result in providing confidence and clarity that buyers seek and an overall stronger marketplace for all parties alike.

I’ve been fortunate to have partnered with the IAB leadership and with David Moore, Jay Sears, and other leaders in the network and exchange space to lay the groundwork to provide a long-term solution for the industry. By focusing on agency and advertiser objectives, we believe that the implementation of these guidelines will allow for continued long-term growth of the network model. As the network landscape continues to evolve, it is incumbent on the leaders in the industry to evolve the standards and continue to build upon the expectations that are set.

At Advertising.com, we’ve had a long-standing commitment to quality and are pleased to have signed on to support the guidelines through formal site requirements, strict site content reviews, ongoing network monitoring, and transparency for CPM campaigns. We believe in the importance of providing advertisers with enhanced transparency and strengthening the network/advertiser/publisher relationship. We fully stand behind this initiative and will ensure complete implementation of these guidelines within our network.

While the next 18 months will no doubt result in the introduction of even more complexity into the online ecosystem, I’m excited that the IAB Networks and Exchanges Quality Assurance Guidelines and related certification process will anchor all of us in a common set of objectives within the industry.

During Connected Marketing Week in San Francisco, which takes place from August 16-20, 2010, we will have the opportunity to further engage in discussion around the importance of the guidelines, transparency, brand safety, and control.