IAB Launches First and Only Quality Assurance Certification for Ad Networks & Exchanges

Program Gives Advertisers Confidence Certified Ad Networks & Exchanges Provide Safe Environments for Brands

First 17 Companies Receive Compliance Seal

NEW YORK – To enhance buyer control over ad placement and context, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced the in-market debut of the Ad Network & Exchange Quality Assurance Certification program, a first-of-its-kind compliance mechanism and the only industry-endorsed certification program that exists today. Only companies that undergo rigorous training, conduct an intensive internal audit and assign a compliance officer to ensure they maintain the IAB’s Quality Assurance Guidelines (QAG) will receive a compliance seal from the IAB. The seal, which can be placed on the company’s website and marketing materials, certifies that the company is adhering fully to the only industry established criteria as outlined by the QAG, finalized in June 2010.

The IAB also announced the first 17 ad networks & exchanges that have completed the training and received the seal:

24/7 Real Media
Burst Media
Casale Media
CPX Interactive
Specific Media
ValueClick Media
Traffic Marketplace

“IAB congratulates this first wave of companies and looks forward to announcing additional compliant companies in 2011,” says Randall Rothenberg, President & CEO, IAB. “The Ad Network & Exchange Certification Program is the next step of the Quality Assurance Guidelines and gives marketers an extra level of comfort that companies carrying the IAB seal are brand safe and deliver what they promise. Buyers who want to ensure they are getting the highest level of quality assurance can now look for the IAB compliance seal and know they are dealing with an ad network or exchange that has made a commitment to transparency, accountability and trust in advertising.”

“We are grateful to the IAB for creating the Ad Network & Exchange Certification Program. Knowing that the IAB is making sure ad networks & exchanges with a compliance seal are following the Quality Assurance Guidelines is very reassuring,” says John Montgomery, COO, North America, GroupM Interaction. “If an ad network or exchange has an IAB compliance seal, we can trust they are working with our agency and the brands we represent to deliver ads to relevant audiences in appropriate content. This commitment will now be a very important factor when we are considering campaigns.”

Seven other IAB member companies are currently enrolled in the Ad Network & Exchange Certification Program, and along with those that have received their seals, they represent more than two thirds of the top 25 ad networks ranked by comScore based on site traffic or audience.

IAB is allowing buyers to file complaints via the IAB website about compliant companies that might be falling short of their commitment to maintain the highest industry-established standards of quality. The IAB will then investigate with an independent third party under the direction of a Steering Committee of IAB member ad networks and exchanges, which can result in revocation of the seal. The guidelines and contact information for the compliant companies can be found at: http://www.iab.net/ne_guidelines

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 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.