IAB Gives Guidance On Ad Viewability

Chris CrumAdvertising

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The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released its “State of Viewability Transaction 2015" report aimed at offering guidance on how to manage the "shift of digital media’s 'audience currency' to 100 percent viewability."

Right now, it says, 100% viewability measurement simply isn't possible. Instread, it recommends 70% as the best threshold for buyers and sellers. 2015, it says, will be a "year of transition."

From the announcement:

The IAB statement heralds the collaboration among the digital trade association, the ANA, and the 4As that has stewarded the historic change in advertising measurement, but labels 2015 a “year of transition,” and calls on advertising agencies, publishers, marketers, and advertising technology companies to work together to assure the new currency can be implemented by all companies in the digital advertising ecosystem. The paper reiterates a statement made in October by the Media Rating Council (MRC), the organization charged by the industry with managing the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) processes, that it is “unreasonable for advertisers, agencies and publishers implementing viewable impressions as measurement currency to expect to observe viewable rates of 100% in analyses of their campaigns.”

“It’s time to set the record straight about what is technically and commercially feasible, in order to get ourselves on an effective road to 100 percent viewability and greater accountability for digital media,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “The MRC said it best – 100 percent is currently unreasonable. Why? Because, different ad units, browsers, ad placements, vendors and measurement methodologies yield wildly different viewability numbers. Publishers, agencies, marketers, and ad tech companies can resolve these differences by working collaboratively to make measurement make sense. We won’t do it by holding guns to each others’ heads."

The IAB is offering up seven principles, which it says marketers, publishers, and agencies should adhere to:

  • Billing should be based on served impressions separated into measured and non-measured categories.
  • Measured Impressions should be held to a 70% viewability threshold.
  • If a campaign doesn't achieve 70% for Measured Impressions, publishers should make good with additional Viewable Impressions until the threshold is met.
  • All make-goods should be in the form of additional Viewable Impressions, not cash, and should be delivered in a reasonable time frame. Make-good impressions should be both Viewable and generally consistent with inventory that was purchased in the original campaign. Determination of threshold achievement is based on total campaign impressions, not by each line item. In other words, some line items may not achieve threshold, but others can compensate.
  • For large format ads (242,500+ pixels), a Viewable Impression is counted if 30% of the pixels of the ad are viewable for a minimum of one continuous second.
  • All transactions between buyers and sellers should use MRC accredited vendors only.
  • A buyer and a seller should agree on a single measurement vendor ahead of time.

You can find the whole report here.

Image via IAB

Chris Crum

Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.