IAB Finalizes Broadband Video Ad Standards

The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s announced final broadband video commercial measurement standards, yesterday after a 30-day public comment period.

The documentation sets groundwork for broadband content to develop. “As broadband proliferates, the interactive industry recognizes the importance of delivering a standardized set of measurement guidelines earlier rather than later so that infrastructure development and business practices can be informed at the earliest stage,” said a statement on the organization’s Web site.

According to IAB’s new rules, a video ad impression is counted when the ad itself appears, not when the video surrounding the ad plays or when the buffer is initiated. It’s measured when an ad counter or logging server communicates with an HTTP request for a tracking asset from a client. A prepared statement from the IAB called the guidelines “a proactive step in helping to streamline the development of infrastructure and business practice.”

The new guidelines were originally proposed in March. An industry-wide 30-day public comment period was observed to evaluate any necessary changes.

“I think it is very important that publishers and third-party vendors comply with the standard,” Adrian D’Souza, director of ad development for CNET Networks told ClickZ News. “The specific reason is that as a medium, we can’t go back to the late 1990s where people talked about multiple methods of accounting. We have to be able to provide that same level of transparency to our media.”

CNET Networks’ Chairman and CEO, Shelby Bonnie, sits on the IAB’s executive committee.

The broadband video commercial parameters are an adjunct to the Ad Campaign Measurement and Audit Guidelines released in November of 2004, which deals primarily with in-page display units. Publishers and third-party vendors will gain certification as they undergo annual audits.

At the IAB’s Leadership Forum: Broadband and Beyond in New York, the standards were released with little fanfare. Greg Stuart, the IAB’s CEO, called the broadband video document a technical read. “If you can’t sleep at night,” he joked, “you should read them and you will sleep instantly.”

Join ClickZ’s Online Video Advertising Forum in New York City, June 16, 2006.

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