IAB Releases Lead Gen Guidelines

The Interactive Advertising Bureau in conjunction and the Lead Generation Committee put forth its proposed Online Lead Generation Best Practices today.

The proposed practices, subject to comment over the next 30 days:

  • All lead generation efforts need to be strictly permission-based
  • Advertisers/Publishers/Vendors must only send consumer offers or information that strictly adheres to the information that consumers have requested
  • Advertisers/Publishers/Vendors must provide a clear, concise privacy policy
  • Publishers/Vendors will deliver consumer data that meets the Advertiser’s criteria for a quality lead, as determined by the Advertiser’s marketing objectives
  • Publishers/Vendors may pre-populate the information fields that a consumer has already provided

    A couple of these stand out to me, such as “Advertisers/Publishers/Vendors must only send consumer offers or information that strictly adheres to the information that consumers have requested.” The thing is, a lot of times what they’ve requested can be quite vague.

    As for the one stating, “Publishers/Vendors will deliver consumer data that meets the Advertiser’s criteria for a quality lead, as determined by the Advertiser’s marketing objectives,” don’t advertisers already demand this? It seems like this sort of thing should be dictated by market forces: i.e. Vendor X didn’t provide quality leads to Advertiser Y, so Y discontinues use of X’s services. I wonder how much of a problem this is for advertisers. Are vendors promising and not delivering on a regular basis? How could the industry survive at all if that’s the case?

    I’d love to know what pubs/vendors and advertisers think about these guidelines. Email me if you’ve got something to say.

    The IAB’s Lead Generation Best Practices work group members include Vendare Media, Valueclick, Advertising.com, Innovation Ads, Organic, Knight Ridder Digital, Cox Newspapers and iVillage.

    Update:
    The Online Lead Generation Association (OLGA) put out a release in support of the IAB’s guidelines, sort of. Evidently, the non profit company aims to “provide more specific and informative guidelines than those proposed by the IAB,” but they say the IAB’s are a good jumping off point. As noted in today’s release:

    We would add to the IAB’s list one of OLGA’s top best-practice priorities, and that is the belief that advertisers should always know exactly where their offers are being shown and how they are being presented to consumers….Given some of the ill-advised practices we are seeing today, the IAB draft guidelines will only be successful to the extent that the industry takes them to heart and adheres to them fully.

    OLGA was formed in November 2005.

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