IAB’s New Document to Help Reduce Discrepancies in Online Media Buys

The Interactive Advertising Bureau has recently released a document with recommendations for ad agencies and publishers, in an attempt to improve the efficiency of interactive advertising campaigns and reduce discrepancies in online media buys. The document comes under the form of a whitepaper and is titled ‘Interactive Campaign Setup Best Practices’.

Not to badmouth the very industry I’m in, but online media is known to be the black sheep when it comes to buying discrepancies. This whitepaper, developed by an authority, comes as a very welcome first step towards setting regulations and guidelines to limit processing errors.

Online Media Buying Facts: the vast majority of operations in regard to online media buys are still manual, in spite of the existance of several 3rd party data processing systems that can be used to manage these buys electronically (Mediaplex, for example). This is causing endless issues, the high discrepancy rate for agencies and advertisers being the most disturbing one.

I’m glad to see that IAB’s new whitepaper was created following input from several major ad agencies (Avenue A/Razorfish, Digitas, MediaVest, and Horizon Interactive) and is structured quite well:
– steps to creating and scheduling an online advertising campaign, broken down to advertiser and publisher level;
– workflow recommendations;
– managing data for insertion orders (IO’s) and invoicing.

Highlights of recommendations:

– using a clear, simple language that both agency and publishers understand and can input into an ad server;
– establish clear billing methods between the agencies and publishers;
– raise awareness of the rich media fees among media buyers.

You can download the full whitepaper here.