IAB and 4A’s Release Updated Standard Terms and Conditions for the Interactive Industry

New Contract Solves One of Industry’s Biggest Business Challenges

NEW YORK – Since the release in 2002 of the “4A’s/IAB Standard Terms and Conditions v2.0,” interactive advertising platforms have evolved dramatically. Buyers and sellers of interactive advertising have often found themselves burdened with protracted, time-consuming negotiations and lengthy addendums. To remove these frictions and delays, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Association of American Advertising Agencies (4A’s) announced the release of the “4A’s/IAB Standard Terms and Conditions for Interactive Advertising Version 3.0” for public comment.

“We brought agencies and media companies together with the idea of creating a document that will improve work flow and make it easier to buy interactive advertising and I think we’ve succeeded.”

This new version of the Terms & Conditions (Ts&Cs) now encompasses the breadth of advertising platforms and tools that are currently utilized in the creation of an interactive advertising campaign, including performance-based advertising and user-generated content platforms. This contract will become the standard by which media companies and agencies or advertisers expedite the most common types of interactive media buys.

In addition to including new interactive platforms, the “4A’s/IAB Standard Terms and Conditions for Interactive Advertising Version 3.0” contains updates across the following key areas:

Data usage
Third-party ad-serving, tracking, and billing
Billing and payment terms
Cancellation terms
Editorial adjacencies
Late creative
“This is an enormous accomplishment on behalf of the advertising industry,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the IAB. “Streamlining business processes in interactive has been one of our main objectives as an organization and with the contributions from both advertising agencies and media companies we believe that we have accomplished this goal.”

“The revised Ts&Cs will have a dramatic—and positive—impact on the daily business practices in the advertising community,” said Nancy Hill, President and CEO of the 4A’s. “We brought agencies and media companies together with the idea of creating a document that will improve work flow and make it easier to buy interactive advertising and I think we’ve succeeded.”

The need for new Ts&Cs was identified by the 4A’s/IAB joint Reinvention Task Force and the Version 3.0 initiative was launched in April 2009. More than 100 finance, legal, sales and buying leaders from a cross-section of media companies and media agencies volunteered to take part in updating the Version 2.0 document.

“Updating the Ts&Cs is a perfect example of what the Reinvention Task Force was meant to accomplish. Instead of spending time negotiating the same things over and over again for each campaign, an industry-accepted Ts&Cs document will allow us to use our resources where they are needed most—ensuring campaigns maximize advertisers’ results,” said David Cohen, Executive Vice President, US Director of Digital Communications for UM, Chairperson of the 4A’s Digital Marketing Committee and the agency lead of the Interactive Reinvention Task Force. “We now want to make sure that Version 3.0 of the Ts&Cs is adopted throughout the industry.”

One of the most important updates in Version 3.0 addresses the new challenges of data rights and usage. Media companies, agencies and advertisers want to utilize data to the benefit of brand advertisers while protecting consumers who use their sites. For the first time, the new document details a set of rules regarding the types of data at issue and how each side may use these types.

“Advertising data use has emerged as a sensitive and complicated debate among agencies, advertisers and media companies. We are very happy that the new Ts&Cs represent an alignment around terminology and principles related to such a difficult issue,” said Jason Ryning, a Senior Attorney at Microsoft and Co-Chair of the IAB Legal Affairs Council. “Version 3.0 represents a significant industry effort to build a contract that preserves the best of the Version 2.0 language and add terms that contemplate the rapidly evolving digital advertising marketplace. Standardized language that accounts for a variety of operational scenarios allows the industry participants to focus on providing a fantastic customer experience while minimizing the friction associated with individual transactions.”

As part of the process of educating the marketplace and encouraging adoption, the Task Force has released “An Educational Guide to the 4A’s/IAB Standard Terms and Conditions Version 3.0” that documents the rationale behind both the new and unchanged language. The 4A’s and IAB strongly urge all those who review the new version to read the Educational Guide first. To review the Educational Guide and the Version 3.0 document and provide your feedback, please go to www.iab.net/tscs3.

The 4A’s and the IAB will also co-host two webinars that will take participants through the major changes and give them the opportunity to ask any questions they may have. To find out exact dates and to register for those webinars, please go to www.iab.net/TCwebinar.

The public comment period will remain open until Friday, January 29, 2010.

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.

About the 4A’s

The American Association of Advertising Agencies is the national trade association of the advertising agency business. The 1,196 member agency offices it serves in the United States employ 65,000 people, offer a wide range of marketing communications services, and place 80 percent of all national advertising. The management-oriented association helps its members build their businesses, and acts as the industry’s spokesman with government, media, and the public sector. For more information visit our Web site at www.aaaa.org.