- IAB Conference Roundup: Simplifying Online Ad Sales; Looking At Data Ownership; Audience Measurement

David Kaplan
Monday, February 23, 2009; 4:06 PM

The Interactive Advertising Bureau is hosting its annual conference at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Fl. While the setting and the weather are both pleasant, the gathering is occurring during the most pessimistic period for the ad industry as a whole in a decade, if not 60 years. So, in addition to the celebratory awards presentations and a few hortatory words from keynote speakers like Wenda Harris Millard, the organization also had a few house-keeping announcements:

?4A's joins IAB on call to simplify ad process: The IAB and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) will work together to push their members to adopt voluntary business process standards that they say will significantly reduce the cost and complexity in the planning and buying of interactive ads. A joint task force, headed by David Cohen, EVP, U.S. Director of Digital Communications for Universal McCann (on the 4A's side) and Zack Rogers, VP of Revenue Operations, CBS Interactive (NYSE: CBS), are suggesting the use of standard documents for RFPs and invoicing; designing a method for exchanging impression data in order to reduce discrepancies; and updating terms of services contracts. Cohen and Rogers couch the proposal as a "first step," with the partnership leading to further refinement of these back-office issues. Release.

?Who owns data? Task force tapped to figure it out: A few weeks ago, WPP Group decided it doesn't want to wait for the IAB to update its rules on data ownership and jumped the gun, saying it possesses all the data it collects on behalf of its clients. The existing guidelines call for shared ownership of audience data among the publisher, advertiser and media buyer. Now, a few weeks after WPP's move, the IAB has formed a task force of representatives from 16 companies, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, CBS Interactive, NBC, Disney NYTCo and Time Inc. Meetings begin next month, with industry recommendations expected by the fall. Release.

?Audience measurement guidelines call for client-control: Audience measurement should be initiated by clients, not the sellers, the IAB says in its final version of its traffic guidelines. In particular, a website's internal numbers should be excluded. The IAB also calls for full disclosure of methodologies used to count audience across sites. Release.

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