IAB releases ad verification conduct guidelines for comment


Its “Guidelines for the Conduct of Ad Verification” is now open for public comment. The framework, developed in conjunction with the Media Rating Council (MRC), aims for a common set of methods and practices for ad verification to provide assurances to marketers and their agency partners about the execution and accuracy of online campaigns.

The recommended principles, which offer information and standards to verification vendors, as well as buy and sell-side users of verification services, include:

* Ad-serving prevention (“ad blocking”) may be used in instances where the relevant domain or page-level URL is already on a blocking list, for competitive separation and to prevent fraud. Ad blocking should be built into ad serving systems, so decisions are made pre-serve.
* Nested iFrames are often recognized as legitimate technology, but the limited visibility around what is served into these iFrames can cause ad serving issues to go undetected. For that reason, ad verification vendors should have procedures to classify and report the extent to which advertising served into iFrames from other domains has been appropriately executed. In addition, the general nature of the verification tools used to view iFrame content should be disclosed. Moreover, it is recommended that the use of nested iFrames is minimized.
* Geo-targeting IP-based processes can vary in quality based on the geo-targeting vendor used. Geo-targeting vendors, therefore, should be encouraged to subject their processes to independent auditing.

“MRC was pleased to participate in the process of developing these guidelines for conducting ad verification,” said George Ivie, NRC Executive Director and CEO.  “Ad verification services who comply with these guidelines will help to enhance industry confidence that online ads are being run according to the terms agreed to between buyers and sellers, which benefits the entire online advertising ecosystem.”

The deadline for public comment is 12/2. Once the public comment period closes, the IAB Ad Ops Council will meet to evaluate comments, make any needed changes to the draft Guidelines, and release a final version. Comments are being accepted by email by Ramona Gonzales, IAB lead on Ad Verification, at [email protected].

Here’s the public comment version of guidelines.