IAB Issues Click Measurement Guidelines for Public Comment

Ad Operations OnlineDefines Parameters for Click Measurement, Provides a Unified Industry Response to the Problem of Fraudulent Clicks

NEW YORK – The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced the release of Click Measurement Guidelines, a document that will establish parameters for the accurate buying and selling of cost-per-click advertising, an important and growing category of interactive advertising. Marketers will now have a standard for consistently and reliably measuring their performance-based marketing efforts. The guidelines also provide a strong framework for filtering fraudulent clicks, giving buyers and sellers confidence that only legitimate clicks are being counted.

The Click Measurement Guidelines will:

* Provide a detailed definition of a “click” and outline standard methodologies by which clicks should be measured and counted, including the identification of invalid and/or fraudulent clicks.
* Define standard terms that will help streamline the buying and selling of click-based media.
* Increase transparency and consistency in click measurements for media companies, ad-serving organizations, advertisers, and third-party click auditors.

“These guidelines demonstrate our continued commitment to being the most accountable advertising medium and providing marketers with the highest possible level of transparency,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Industry Services of the IAB. “It is critical that the advertising industry agree upon the precise definition and measurement of a click and establish procedures for weeding out fraudulent clicks. The IAB is proud to have organized our members around this effort.”

The guidelines are the latest addition to the IAB’s ongoing work to harmonize interactive measurement. They complement IAB guidelines for general ad impressions, digital video commercials and audience reach measurement.

“I applaud the IAB for taking a leadership role in bringing the Click Measurement Guidelines to fruition,” said George Ivie, Executive Director and CEO, of the Media Rating Council (MRC). “The interactive industry has consistently met the marketplace need for increased reliability in measurement, and this is yet another example of how the IAB has mobilized its members on behalf of both agencies and marketers.”

“Helping the interactive industry define a click and the standard for measuring one has been an extraordinary effort on the part of the IAB and its members,” said Shuman Ghosemajumder, Business Product Manager for Trust & Safety, Google, and a leading member of the IAB’s Click Measurement Working Group. “It is an important step that continues to reinforce interactive media’s role as the most accountable and measurable form of advertising.”

“IAB’s guidelines will provide users, advertisers and partners with further confidence that the industry, including Yahoo!, is taking click fraud issues seriously,” said Reggie Davis, VP of Network Quality at Yahoo! “Yahoo! worked on the IAB’s Click Measurement Working Group to develop these guidelines for identifying and filtering potential invalid or fraudulent clicks as part of its commitment to a transparent process for the measurement of valid clicks.”

Members of the industry—advertising agencies, advertisers, online publishers and technology vendors—are encouraged to read the proposed guidelines and submit comments on the IAB site at: www.iab.net/clickmeasurementguidelines. After the comment period closes on Friday March 27, 2009, the feedback will be reviewed and the guidelines will be finalized and released.

About the IAB’s Click Measurement Working Group:

The Click Measurement Working Group includes representatives from 38 IAB member companies, including sellers, measurers, and auditors of online media. Initiated in late 2005, the working group, together with the Media Rating Council, has spent the last three years developing these important guidelines and achieving consensus around them.

About the IAB:

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 400 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.