IAB Creates Guidelines For Online Advertising

By: Ann M. Mack

(Adweek IQ) In an effort to cut down on the disparate methods of measuring online advertising, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has proposed a common set of guidelines for data analysis and reporting.

The voluntary guidelines, based upon a six-month study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, identify and define five key metrics in the measurement process — ad impressions, clicks, visits, “unique” measurements (browsers, visitors, and users), and page impressions.

By establishing the guidelines, the IAB hopes to eliminate inconsistency in measurement practices among Internet sites, making advertising on the Web easier to quantify and buy for advertisers and agencies. The guidelines can be found on the IAB Web site.

“The IAB guidelines demonstrate that the Internet industry is making real progress in providing clear definitions of measurement methodology and ensuring that comparisons are made on an apples-to-apples basis,” said John Costello, chief global marketing officer at Yahoo!, in a statement endorsing the guidelines.

In compiling the report, participating organizations (AOL, Atlas DMT, CNET Networks, Walt Disney Internet Group, DoubleClick, Forbes.com, MSN, New York Times Digital, Terra Lycos, and Yahoo!) supplied information to PricewaterhouseCoopers on their measurement criteria and practices and cooperated in interviews and testing.

The guidelines are supported by the Advertising Research Foundation, ABC Interactive, the Media Rating Council, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, and the Association of National Advertisers.

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