IAB Creates Marketplace Transparency between Agencies and Publishers, Releases Lead Quality Accountability Best Practices

Improves ROI and Conversion Rates for Essential Digital Platform

NEW YORK – The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced the release of Lead Quality Accountability Best Practices, a document designed to create marketplace transparency by improving communication between agencies and publishers in the lead generation industry.

The recommendations outlined in the document address two main areas:

1. Best practices for advertiser sharing of invalid leads with publishers to improve the process of accounting for leads.

2. Communication methodology for advertiser sharing of converted leads with publishers to improve advertiser conversions and ROI.

Twenty leading online lead generation companies came together to develop the document, representing companies across nine major verticals, including automotive, insurance, education, pharmaceutical, continuity clubs, financial services, retail, and CPG.

According to the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report for 2007, lead generation accounted for $1.6 billion of the total of $21.2 billion total of interactive advertising spend that year. First half figures for 2008 show that lead generation represented 7 per cent or $806 million of overall interactive advertising spend.

Among the key best practices, the document highlights:

* Publishers and advertisers should establish the definition of a valid and invalid lead at the onset of a lead generation campaign.
* Advertisers should return invalid leads to publishers in real-time or a time frame agreed upon up front with detailed reasons.
* Publishers should use returned invalid lead data to optimize traffic, improve creative, and refine targeting.

“These best practices provide a clear and concise roadmap for agencies and publishers to further enhance marketers’ ability to refine and target their best customers— the crux of successful lead generation campaigns,” said Sherrill Mane, senior vice president, Industry Services of the IAB. “Transparency, accountability and good communication between agencies and publishers will allow this platform to continue to flourish.”

“Data sharing between advertisers and publishers is vital to achieving high quality leads and optimizing an online lead generation program, which is especially important in these difficult economic times,” said Gayle Guzzardo, chairperson of the IAB Lead Generation Committee and senior vice president of product management at Q Interactive. “The IAB’s Lead Quality Accountability Best Practices is an indispensable guide for understanding, implementing and benefiting from data sharing for all parties involved.”

To view the best practices please go to www.iab.net/leadquality

About the IAB:

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 375 leading media and technology companies who are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.