IAB Hosts Interactive Advertising’s First-Ever Ad Verification Summit

Leading Agencies, Publishers and Networks Converge to Discuss Operational and Sales Implications of Latest Advertising Tools

NEW YORK – Seeking to lend order and clarity to an increasingly important yet confusing component of the interactive advertising ecosystem, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) convened the interactive industry’s first interdisciplinary forum on ad verification companies and technologies. “Ad Verification Day: An Introduction and Discussion of Methodologies” is being held in New York City, with an invited roster of interactive industry executives representing marketers, agencies, publishers, ad networks, and technology companies.

Companies claiming the ability to verify online ad buys have arisen during the past several years in response to advertiser and agency concerns that ads are running within content environments that have not been expressly included in a media buy or could harm an advertiser’s brand equity. By verifying delivery of ad campaigns, advertisers and media buyers hope to identify and eliminate budget waste from their online campaigns and safeguard the reputation of their brands.

The IAB, which represents the interests of the sellers of interactive advertising industry, has been a driving force in creating transparency in and removing friction from all stages of the interactive advertising buying process. Ad verification tools, when employed with sound methodologies, hold promise as a new resource for further improving confidence in the process of buying interactive advertising. But members of the association have grown uneasy about the proliferation of ad verification companies with differing, unaudited technologies, and the cost that ad verification is adding to the implementation and reconciliation of advertising transactions.

“We need to make sure that the work of ad verification companies is about brand protection and not confused with currency,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “These companies are not audited against any industry guidelines for counting impressions. It is our hope that the IAB, working together with organizations like the Media Rating Council, will be able to create a process and a set of open standards for this new type of tool, with the twin goals of creating a brand-friendly environment for marketers while not adding complexity cost to the ad buying process. Ad Verification Day is our first step in understanding the needs of the market.”

“Ad verification processes should complement existing work agencies and publishers have undertaken to make the interactive advertising supply chain more efficient and effective,” said Dan Murphy, Senior Vice President Interactive Research & Ad Traffic for Univision Interactive Media, and co-chair of the IAB’s Ad Operations Council. “In an attempt to drive integrity into the digital ecosystem, the very real side effect of many current ad verification companies is friction in the form of inaccurate reporting. This is the antithesis of what publishers and agencies sought years ago in creating the joint 4A’s/IAB Reinvention Taskforce,” Murphy added.

The Reinvention Task Force is an ongoing and successful effort by the IAB and the American Association of Advertising Agencies to agree on workflow standards and processes, contractual relationships between agencies and publishers, and other friction-generating areas of the digital ecosystem.

“We are excited by the opportunity to learn about ad verification services and how these services function,” said George Ivie CEO and Executive Director of the Media Rating Council. “The value and trust these services bring is certainly enhanced by communication efforts such as today’s IAB event, and beyond today, value and trust may be enhanced by efforts to seek methodological guidelines and transparency among the verification services; the MRC encourages these steps forward and supports assurances that advertising appears in contextual environments expected by marketers.”

“Today’s summit gives ad verification companies a platform to explain how they use technology to validate impression delivery and provide a forum for publishers and ad networks to discuss the ongoing demand of accountability and transparency,” said David J. Moore, Chairman and Founder, 24/7 Real Media, and Chairman of the Board of the IAB. “Marketplace trust among all stakeholders in our industry is key to growing the digital share of advertising and ad verification is one of many tools that may help us provide that assurance to marketers.”

About the IAB:

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 460 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.